The breeding program for VikingJersey proves that it is possible to breed for high production and at the same time, have high genetic progress in reproduction traits.
Interbull study verifies the leading position of VikingJersey
The Interbull organization enables us to evaluate the genetic levels of daughter fertility in leading Jersey populations. Results are based on data from 13,000 daughter proven Jersey bulls born between 1981 and 2015. The genetic trends reflect the level of daughter proven bulls per birth year and population (country).
The results below are based on information from new daughter proven bulls, with daughter fertility data. The number of new bulls added per year, over the last years is: USA app. 200 bulls, New Zealand app. 150 bulls, Viking countries (DFS) app. 55 bulls, Australia app. 15 bulls and Canada app. 10 bulls.
In Figure 1 below, you can follow the genetic trend for what is considered the most important daughter fertility trait – the interval from first to last insemination for cows. This trait is of great economic value, as it is most important to get the animal pregnant as quickly as possible, when you have made the decision to start insemination.
The results clearly show the importance of including daughter fertility in a Net Merit index with a weight compensating for more than the negative effects of high progress in milk yield.
For VikingJersey, the relative weight on daughter fertility has increased over the last 25 years, enabling the breed to go from a stable situation to actually improving the daughter fertility in the population. None of the other populations have been able to change the negative trends.
When looking at heifer conception rate, the trend for North American bulls is stable, but when it comes to cow conception rate, it seems that only VikingJersey has a positive trend that clearly stands out.
When looking at April US proofs, the difference between populations is very clear. For CCR, the 10 best bulls are VikingJersey, for DPR, 8 out of 10 best bulls are VikingJersey and for HCR, 6 out of 10 best bulls are VikingJersey. Daughter proven VJ Gislev (JPI 136) is one of the bulls ranking high in all daughter fertility categories.