Dominik Reininghaus lives in Halver in the Sauerland region, where he and his family run a dairy farm with 60 dairy cows. Their milk output is currently at 9,500 kg, with around 4.6% fat and 3.5% protein. The goal in breeding was to inseminate the heifers earlier to lower their age of first calving, but fears surrounding a difficult calving process seemed to push the goal out of reach. In April 2020, the family started using semen from our bulls VH Sparky and VH Symplex; since 2021, they have also been using both sexed and conventional doses taken from VH Brook and VH Saade, among others.
VH Saade is a genomically tested bull with a current NTM of +30 and is known for its easy calving due to producing small calves (calving index in 107 in total). Although VH Saade still has a genomic breeding value, its direct calving properties have already been tested by a large number of calves that were born. In addition to the straightforward calving process (111 for heifers), its strength lies primarily in the size of its offspring during calving. Its calves tend to be smaller compared to the average (86 for heifers), making it ideal for heifers.
Dominik describes the first calves as being 'really tiny'. "The first calf was a mini bull, but after our initial doubts you could see it growing almost every day. That’s how I ended up getting my usual selling price for it," he says. The next two calves were small, lively heifer calves.
Although they are on the smaller side, they are still very fit, which is also reflected in the bull’s index. When we look at his records together, the farmer notices that, so far, none of the animals inseminated by VH Saade have ever required more than one round of insemination. He also notes: "None of the VH Saade calves have ever needed treatment or been sick yet, so we are very satisfied. VH Saade is the best bull we’ve ever had for our heifers. The calves stand and run very quickly, and feeding them is very easy."
VH Saade is a good solution for Dominik and his family to ensure that calving runs smoothly even at a lower age of first calving.