Monday, November 29, 2021
HomePedigreeAi Services launches inaugural ‘Dairy Breeds’ catalogue for NI

Ai Services launches inaugural ‘Dairy Breeds’ catalogue for NI

AI Services is now giving milk producers in Northern Ireland a bespoke opport-unity to select from a range of elite dairy breed sires which fully complements the listing of Holstein bulls contained within the company’s traditional breeding catalogue.

Ivan Minford explained: “The new publication will be of specific interest to those milk producers who want to include cross breeding opportunities within the development of their herds.

“A total of 10 breed options is available within the new catalogue.

“All of the bulls referenced have been selected to deliver the benefits that cross breeding can offer, while still maintaining high levels of milk output.”

According to Ivan, cross breeding can be used to improve cow fertility, milk quality, longevity and general health traits.

He continued: “Interest in cross

breeding is starting to gain significant momentum within the local dairy sector.

“For many this may well comprise a straightforward commitment to cross a traditional Holstein cow with another breed and then going back to the Holstein when it comes to breeding first cross heifers.

“However, trial work in the United States has confirmed the benefits of the Pro Cross approach to dairy breeding.

“This entails crossing the Holstein with a Montebelliarde bull with the first cross heifers then bred to a Danish Red sire.

“The cycle starts again with the use of a Holstein bull on second cross heifers. This approach has been shown to maximise the benefits of cross-breeding while still maintaining high levels of milk output.”

The 10 breeds featured in the new Ai Services’ catalogue are: Friesian, Holstein Friesian, Montbelliarde, Danish Red, Ayrshire, Fleckvieh, Jersey, Brown Swiss, Dairy Short-horn and Normande.

Ivan again: “The Holstein Friesian bulls are blended animals, from the point of view of their genetic makeup. They have been sourced from Ai Services’ sister company in the Republic of Ireland, Eurogene.

“All have been totally proven with their EBI figures converted to PLI values.

“The bulls will act to improve milk quality and fertility on farms across Northern Ireland.

“However, their progeny cannot be registered if used on pedigree Holstein herds.”

Courtesy of the new catalogue, Ai Services has scoured the marketplace to source sires of the highest calibre in order to complement Northern Irish dairy herds.

Ivan went on to make the point that all the bulls selected for the new catalogue are positive in terms of their temperament.

“Cross breeding can lead to the breeding of cows that are temperamental and, as a result, are that little bit more difficult to handle.

“Given this reality, we have specifically selected bulls that will breed daughters with a very docile temperament.”

Ivan concluded: “A wide range of traits, including health, longevity and enhanced milk quality, have been adopted as the criteria used to select the bulls that feature in the new Dairy Breeds’ Catalogue.

“Pedigree and cross breeders will find a wide selection of sires to suit their breeding requirements.”

Copies of the new catalogue are now available from members of the Ai Services’ sales team. It can also be viewed online at



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