Saturday, 16 April 2016 15:25

Polled genetics set for release

Written by 
Phil Beatson, CRV Ambreed. Phil Beatson, CRV Ambreed.

A wider selection of high genetic merit, hornless cows will soon be available from CRV Ambreed.

The polled bulls will be released to the market once they produce semen in 2017.

Ten years in development, the polled product line is intended to address concerns about animal welfare, farmer safety and the cost of de-horning. The work has gained momentum over the past three years.

R&D manager Phil Beatson, says the beauty of polled genetics is that it's controlled by a single gene: an animal needs only one copy of that gene – they are heterozygous for the polled gene – to be polled.

"In breeding we have to breed bulls that have two copies of the gene, i.e. they are homozygous, for polled. When we breed heterozygous bulls with heterozygous cows there's a one-in-four chance of getting a homozygous polled, two-in-four of heterozygous and one-in-four of a homozygous horned animal from those matings," Beatson says.

"Then when the homozygous bull is bred to horned cows, all of the progeny will be polled."

The aim is to make sure the polled progeny are also high indexing: CRV Ambreed is aiming at 220+ BW. Beatson says five heterozygous cows and five bulls have been identified with that criterion.

"We've been undertaking embryo transfer and we're confident that will result in some homozygous polled progeny. The law of averages says two or three," he says.

CRV Ambreed already has access to overseas homozygous polled bulls through its global network, but many farmers still want high-indexing New Zealand genetics proven in NZ farming systems and environments.

"In Europe they are increasingly asking 'should we be dehorning animals?' and they're using genetics to safely manage this. There's some talk that by 2025 it may be illegal to dehorn animals in Europe. If
that happens, NZ could follow suit and we
need to be prepared," he says.

CRV Ambreed's polled bulls will be guaranteed for having two copies of the gene so that 100% of their progeny will have one copy and will be polled.

Dehorning is not cheap: a farm with 200 replacements at $6-7 per animal will pay $1200-1400 for dehorning.

More like this

More testing as M. bovis resurfaces

As Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) resurfaces in Canterbury, CRV is reassuring dairy farmers it has rigorous production processes and health testing programmes in place within its supply chain.

'Green bull' to help reduce urinary nitrogen emissions

A Canterbury Hereford stud specialising in providing beef genetics for the dairy industry is claiming a major breakthrough in breeding for more environmentally friendly animals, with reduced urinary nitrogen emissions.

Genetics can help herds lift efficiency

Genetics can help dairy farmers take steps this season to reduce their emissions while they wait for further new tools and technologies to be developed, says CRV managing director James Smallwood.

Featured

Maui Milk blames supply/demand imbalance

Sheep milk processor Maui Milk says it’s one of many companies being impacted by the imbalance between supply and demand for New Zealand sheep dairy products.

Feds offer support for Maui Milk suppliers

Federated Farmers is arranging support for a small group of dairy sheep farmers in the North Island, who were told this week to stop milking by processor, Maui Milk.

National

Next generation of DNA testing

Herd improvement co-operative LIC is combining its DNA parentage testing and genomic evaluation services into one convenient service to help…

DCANZ rejects Canadian proposals

New Zealand dairy processors are rejecting new Canadian proposals for the administration of its dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs) under…

Machinery & Products

Twin-axle slurry tankers on debut

French manufacturer Pichon, imported and retailed in New Zealand by Norwood, has introduced two new twin-axle ‘Slurry Vacuum’ SV slurry…

Make that large please!

KUHN Farm Machinery has introduced a new flagship FC 13460 RA trailed mower conditioner, in the shape of the FC…

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Cows meta to Zuckerberg

OPINION: Mark Zuckerberg's multimillion- dollar housing project on Hawaii is attracting a lot of interest.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter