Samen NZ | Building Better Herds

Would you rather have a cow that had a high longevity score or a cow that turns up to the milking shed year after year and milks like a LEGEND!

Let’s be honest in breeding we like to talk numbers and often that clouds the reality of farming at a grassroots level. I’m sure you would have heard of the survival or longevity index, but recently I’ve managed to get my hands on some interesting stats that go beyond that number and showcase the actual percentage of daughters that have survived lactation period’s year on year. The data is still in it’s infancy with 60 months being the longest term, but it’s clear to see from the results that certain bulls are ranking a lot higher than national averages.

You will notice that the two top ranking sires, Hoekland Maik and Ponstar Shogun are bulls we have already selected as young sires in our New Zealand breeding program. When choosing these sires we focused purely on pedigree information, longevity in the cow family and most importantly the bulls themselves, this was done without the aid of genomics and calculated data.

It’s important to note, that when these sires were first introduced they did not show up in the top 100 survival index in The Netherlands. Yet based on actual survival data from their daughters, both are now in the top 10 in Holland. On paper they are still mediocre for milk production and components, however, they have late maturing, very persistent daughters, with the realistic average daughter productions ranking much above breed and national average. Once again, this highlights the fact that practical breeding leads to positive results and indexes can be very misleading. A common issue we continue to face on the NZ Market, but we are slowly working with a range of farmers who have been looking for greater efficiencies and future proofing strategies.

One of those farmers is Harry Schat. Harry had been using mainstream NZ genetics until he decided to trial some of the Samen Genetics in 2010. He’s been very impressed with the outcome and when asked about his Shogun daughters he was happy to report that a high percentage of the shogun daughters were ranking in the top half of his herd for production. He was also happy to mention that “Samen genetics were outperforming LIC genetics and were much better type wise as well”.

Both Ponstar Shogun and Hoekland Maik were bulls of smaller stature, exceptional rump-width and body capacity. Both bulls have what we call “a bit of extra muscle and body condition”. Whilst their daughters are very fertile, have excellent scores for udder, legs and feet health. They both score 110 for body condition, which is unique in the Holstein breed.

Today, Hoekland Maik and Ponstar Shogun feature strongly as sires of sons in our current line-up of bulls. I have been following these bulls with a close eye and noted their success in Holland. The above data supports my initial research and with a number of NZ farmers using the Shogun and Maik sons over the past couple of years I’m looking forward to tracking the heifers success when they join the NZ milking herds in the upcoming 2016/2017 seasons.

In 2015 Breeding guide you find the following bulls descent from Shogun or Maik.

  • Samoerai (s. Shogun)
  • Sentaro (s. Shogun)
  • Ashburton (s.Maik)
  • Malki (s.Maik)
  • Lyssel (s.Maik)
  • Miramar (s.Maik)
  • Maikman (s.Maik)
  • Moneymaker (s.Maik)
  • Michael (s.Maik)
Longevity score Vs time spent milking in the shed.

Longevity score Vs time spent milking in the shed.

Samen is a New Zealand based Genetics company dedicated to providing practical breeding advice whilst working with farmers in a supportive capacity. We pride ourselves on working with our Farmers, sharing our knowledge and most importantly providing them with the tools required to take charge and make informed decisions about their genetic breeding programmes. For more information contact the office on 0800 220 232 or contact us.