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National Dairy Conference Questions Answered: Using a team of bulls


Teagasc Dairy Specialists continue this week to answer the unanswered questions from the Virtual Dairy Conference on the Dairy Daily. Today's unanswered question is on using a balanced team of bulls when breeding for replacement heifers.

When the “good bull” is used it is a balanced bull as some of the top bulls are weighted higher in fertility and not balanced for fertility and production

Teagasc recommends that a team of bulls is used to breed the next generation of heifers. The team can vary in number from 7 to around 14 different AI sires depending on the size of the herd being bred. It will typically contain bulls that range considerably in their milk and fertility sub indexes.

When Sire Advice is used, the team selected will be allocated to minimise the variation in milk and fertility sub indexes in the next generation of daughters.

Bulls with lower milk sub index will be recommended for breeding to cows with higher sub index for milk and vice versa to deliver a more homogenous crop of replacement heifers with a better balance of milk and fertility in their genetic makeup.

See more on the Virtual Dairy Conference 2021 here.

The complete Dairy Conference Proceedings can be viewed here and the individual articles were published on Teagasc Daily throughout last week. See Teagasc Daily - Dairy for more.