Identifying the best and worst cows in your dairy herd

Aug 08, 2018, 01:48 PM

On this week's episode of The Dairy Edge podcast, ICBF Geneticist Dr Margaret Kelleher gives the top tips on identifying the best and worst cows in your dairy herd.

Firstly, Margaret explains what the Cows Own Worth (COW) index is, what information contributes to each cow's COW value and how the COW index differs from the EBI.

Briefly, the COW index is for selecting the best cows for retention in the herd and the worst cows for culling, while the EBI is used for breeding.

Furthermore, Margaret explains why a cow would be ranked best and worst for a herd. Traits that would rank a cow best is early calving, good milk solids production, high EBI and low SCC compared to contemporaries in the herd. Margaret emphasises inputting insemination records, scanning records and treatments for incidence of ill-health such as lameness and mastitis are important to get the most accurate picture of your herd.

For more information:

https://www.icbf.com/wp/?p=11331#more-11331

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDUXoyZPRcQ

https://www.icbf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/CowOwnWorthMKelleher0408_20161.pdf