Two Holstein Friesian bulls selected as part of the joint initiative Discovery Project between Holstein Friesian New Zealand and LIC have made it into LIC’s bull teams. The breeder of one bull credited the project with breeding the premier sire after the dam died.
South Canterbury farmers Tony and Keri O’Connor, Tronnoco Farming Co Ltd, were founding participants in the initiative between Holstein Friesian New Zealand and LIC, designed to help breeders develop top cow families and breed bulls for the AI industry.
They bred Tronnoco MH Samba-ET S2F who has been selected into the LIC Premier Sires Forward Pack team this year, but Tony says the bull would never have existed if not for the programme, because the bull’s dam died as a two-year-old.
“Losing an animal is never something you want to happen but because of the programme we had the embryo and as a result we have Samba. That is also why there isn’t a lot of records from his dam,” says Tony.
Samba’s grand dam is creating her own legacy in his herd however having produced over 900kg milk solids three times and still milking in the herd at 10-years-old. She has also produced two daughters that have also produced over 900kg milk solids, says Tony.
The latest bull update places Samba as the third highest Holstein Friesian bull for protein BV.
Tony says the Discovery Project has proven itself to be the best way to use modern technologies to genomically test animals and generate progeny as quickly as possible.
The other Holstein Friesian bull to make an LIC team was Meander MH Armour-ET S2F, who is named in LIC’s, Premier Sires Daughter Proven team.
Breeders Robert and Anne Marie Bruin, Otautau, Meander Holsteins, says they have been involved with the Discovery Project from the start because breeding top bulls also means that you are breeding top females so you are improving the genetics of your herd.
“We are using mainly genomically proven bulls but Armour was bred by using proven Sires.”
“They say success is 30 per cent genetics. If you can get the genetics right, you can make huge leaps forward.”
LIC Livestock Selection Manager Simon Worth says he is really pleased with the quality of the 17 code bulls coming through and although it was early days with only one round of herd testing and TOP classification from their daughters, he said the two Holstein Friesian bulls were part of a group that were looking really good.