Australian Genetics for UK Dairy Farmers

UK - Australian dairy cattle genetics are to be imported into the UK offering a range of options for dairy farmers including outcross and cross-breeding.
calendar icon 9 January 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The genetics from Holstein, Jersey and Aussie Red bulls will help dairy farmers produce more milk from home grown forage feed and will produce cattle with a better stature that not only give a longer milk production but also have the benefit of producing dairy bull calves with a better meat conformation.

The genetics are being imported into the UK from Genetics Australia by Sterling Sires.

Farmers are looking for different genetics to stay in the herd book," said Sterling Sires director Paul Westaway.

He added that there are close similarities between production systems in the UK and many parts of Australia, where they are geared to producing as much milk as possible from grazing and conserved forages together with concentrate supplements.

"Typically, the daughters of GA sires are medium-sized with good style and robust functional conformation," Mr Westaway added.

He said that while they present pedigree breeders with new bloodlines, they also present an opportunity to cross breeders, because the date of the sires is fully traceable.

Apart from the Holstein and Jersey sires Sterling Sires will also be importing genetics from Australian Red bulls - a combination of Scandinavian Red and Australian Shorthorn bloodlines.

GA export director, Rob Derksen said that the potential for the GA lines existed because of the similarity between the dairy farming approached in Australia in states such as Victoria and in the UK.

He said the new genetics on offer presented farmers with traits that include a measurable profitability and good milk fat and protein, with good survival and longevity including overall type, pin set, udder depth and likeability, good daughter fertility, mastitis resistance, good liveweight and long milking span.

He said that whereas in the UK the average milking life for a cow was three lactations for Australian Holsteins it was 4.6 lactations and for Australian Jerseys it was 4.3. The average lactation was over 300 days.

The better conformation with a shorter sturdier and broad animal also meant that there was a better use for the bull calves within the meat industry.

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