AI bulls: Progressive Genetics
“You do not want to go extreme easy calving, but it is important to avoid difficult calving bulls if you want to keep them as cows.”
“Heavy birth weight is transmittable down the line. If you have a difficult calving bull, his daughters are likely to throw big calves as well. In the old days, we were taught the absolute opposite.”
“We were taught that you had to have a difficult calving bull to have a good cow. That is just because they were talking about pelvic width. However, if you want pelvic width, look at the ability to calf.”
“Maternal beef calving difficulty is the figure you need to look at if you want pelvic width and calving difficulty. I would avoid difficult calving bulls to keep cows from.”
That is the information Rosalish Goulding provided to farmers during a Teagasc Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal webinar on beef bull selection last week.
The Irish Cattle Breeding Centre programme manager recommended some replacement Limousin, Simmental, Salers, Aubrac and Shorthorn sires for suckler farmers to consider using this breeding season.
Goulding suggested the following AI bulls:
Replacement Limousin sires:
- Rutland Reuben – LM8286;
- Cross Liam – LM4591;
- Moondharrig Knell – LM4217;
- Keltic Rembrandt – LM8259;
- Castleview Gazelle – ZAG;
- Creggpark Marcus – LM5422.
Replacement Simmental sires:
- Curaheen Earp – SI2152;
- Lisnacrann Fifty Cent – SI2469;
- Rubyjen Here’s Johnny – SI4350;
- Leeherd Lynx 365 – SI7491;
- Clonagh Frosty King ET – SI4082;
- Lis-na-Ri Gucci – SI4250;
- Bearna-Dhearg Honda 50 – SI4594.
Other replacement sires:
- Salers: Knottown Roy – SA4604 – Salers;
- Aubrac: Turloughmore Magnificent – AU4683 – Aubrac.
- Shorthorn: Coolvin Dominator (R) – SH2181.
Terminal AI bulls
She then discussed the firm’s panel of terminal bulls and drew specific reference to three popular Charolais sires.
- Lapon – CH4321;
- Orbi – CH6490;
- Omega – CH6493.
She explained: “Lapon is our number one Charolais bull now. He is a phenomenal bull with only 6.4% for calving on beef cows. He is nearly +40kgs on carcass.”
“People always ask what the replacement for our flagship bull, Fiston is. If you look at carcass weight and carcass conformation, this bull has almost exactly the same profile.”
“You will not get the extreme shape as you did with Fiston, but you have very good shape, a very good growth rate and no issue calving.”
“That is a very profitable bull because if you use a bull like that and if you look about profit in the suckler herd, it is all about getting as many live calves on the ground as possible, with as good of growth rate as possible and if you can limit/avoid difficult calving, you can get your cows back in-calf quicker, you will get longer out of your cows, and you will get more calves every year.”
“Lapon is the bull to do that job and is our number one selling bull now,” she added.
Orbi – CH6490
According to Goulding, Orbi is a relatively new Charolais bull, a French test centre graduate, that has progeny on the ground.
She said he is “extremely” easy calving with a rating (as per the latest round of genetic evaluations) of just over 4% on beef cows.
“The reliability is low, but he is there at 37%, and quality is very good. He is a bull to use with confidence. It is too early to say whether he is suitable for heifers or not, but I doubt it because he is carrying the Q204X gene, but certainly, on second-calvers on; no issues with them whatsoever.”
Omega – CH6493
Goulding’s next recommendation came in the form of another French test centre graduate, who reported “very high” performance in terms of ADG (Average Daily Gain) during this period.
She said that he is “easily calved” and produces “long, clean and heavily muscled” progeny.
Belgian Blue sires
In terms of Belgian Blues, Goulding described Delure (BB4498) and Folon (FSN) as the firm’s flagship bulls in recent years.
She highlighted that Patissier (PPS) and New Red (BB7638) are “fashionable” because they are red gene factor carriers.
She said that New Red is a farmer’s “go-to” bull if they want average calving, quality, and colour. Meanwhile, PPS has an “excellent” ranking for feed intake and a calving difficulty figure of approximately 12% on beef cows.
“If you use him on pure red Limousin cows, you have a 50% chance of getting a red or roan calf,” she added.
Further reading on That’s Farming:
- In the next part of this article, we will look at Progressive Genetics’ new bulls for 2022.
- In a previous article, Goulding recommended 12 sires for use on maiden suckler heifers, which you can read.