Quinedale Igniter Daisy goes TOP in class with five Excellents
At the ripe old age of 18, Balraj and Hardeep Singh’s oldest cow, Daisy, has been named one of New Zealand’s top Holstein Friesian’s achieving five Excellent scores in her TOP Classification inspections.
Quinedale Igniter Daisy, or “Daisy” as she’s known, had her last calf in March 2020 on the Singh’s Taupiri farm, where they milk 190 cows year-round, on 70 hectares, calving half their herd in Spring and half in Autumn.
Balraj says Daisy was destined for her “final hoorah” three years ago but after almost separating her with the cull cows he says the family’s heart sank and they couldn’t do it. As a result, Daisy has remained on the farm happily raising calves.
“It’s a nice way for her to retire. She’s really well into her retirement now, but she still runs to the feed trailer every day,” says Balraj’s son Shneil.
TOP Classification aims to improve the overall standard of type and conformation of the New Zealand Holstein Friesian cow by recognising each individual cow’s functional strengths and/or weaknesses and grading her accordingly with a Classification Award.
Every year members of Holstein Friesian New Zealand have the opportunity to submit their registered in-milk heifers and cows for Classification by Holstein Friesian New Zealand. All cows classified are also scored on a linear system for Traits Other than Production (TOP) and classification generally happens in Spring.
Shneil says it is exceptional for a cow to achieve five Excellent scores over their lifetime and to be still scoring Excellent at 18-years-old is a great achievement.
He says Daisy has been an outstanding cow from very early on, also winning and placing in the Semex On Farm Competitions as both a seven and eight-year-old.
Her best production was as a 14-year-old where she produced 9,632 litres of milk solids, 442kg fat and 272 kg of protein in 299 days.
“She’s got great longevity and has always been able to get back in calf. She’s had enough of walking to the cow shed now so she’s semi-retired. She reared three calves for us in Autumn and now she’s rearing two from Spring calving,” says Shneil.
Her sire is Summershade Igniter and her last calf, born in March, is by Walnutlawn Sidekick, Shneil saying the Singh’s use overseas genetics on their herd from both Canada and North America.
“We’re really looking forward to her last calf reaching breeding age, given how well Daisy has done.”