Monday 26 September 2016

Focus for 2016 is on increasing the milk sub-index in the herd

Published 09/03/2016 | 02:30

Wonder cow: Sired by a stock bull, 13-year-old Coolmahon Norton Newway has popped a calf like clock-work during 12 of those 13 years
Wonder cow: Sired by a stock bull, 13-year-old Coolmahon Norton Newway has popped a calf like clock-work during 12 of those 13 years

Pat Flynn has a very ordinary way of assembling his panel of bulls for using on his prize herd in 2016.

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"I told Tom Baker in Eurogene to select a panel of bulls because I've already used most of the bloodlines that were suitable in the other studs.

"My main focus this year was to increase the milk sub-index in the herd so I've gone for bulls with a minimum milk value of €100, with quite high milk kilogrammes," said Flynn.

However, the pursuit of higher milk indexes comes at a cost, with none of the bulls having as high a fertility sub-index as the average for the herd. However, the Coolmahon owner believes that he has room for manoeuvre on fertility.

"My fertility is very high, so I think that we can afford to use bulls with lower fertility scores without compromising the progeny's ability to go back in calf. If anything, they were calving too early, because the British Friesian tends to calve a week earlier than their due date," he said.

* Wonder cow (pictured): Sired by a stock bull, 13-year-old Coolmahon Norton Newway has popped a calf like clock-work during 12 of those 13 years. During that time, she has produced 87t of milk, and an impressive 7t of milk solids. Butterfat averaged 4.25pc and protein 3.85pc during her first 11 lactations, leaving her with an EBI of €210.

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