Sire Advice allows the user to select bulls they wish to use for the breeding season and the mating program will match these bulls to cows to maximize EBI, reduce the variation between milk and fertility and avoid inbreeding. This Spring, ICBF has developed new dairy beef mating options in conjunction with Teagasc.
This new option allow farmers to select low EBI cows or poor performers/late calvers for beef AI while Sire advice will generate a dairy beef mating that is easy calving for the dairy farmer while maximizing the beef potential of the dairy beef calf produced. This will assist on improving the integrating of both the dairy and beef farming systems in Ireland.
We would encourage dairy farmers who use beef AI to select from the Dairy Beef Index . To assist farmers in selecting beef bulls, sire advice now includes sliders to select beef AI sires with a good DBI. We have also included a new filter to allow farmers search for sexed semen bulls that are currently available.
What is your breeding goal?
There as 6 key steps to keep in mind when selecting dairy and beef sires to be used.
- Define your breeding goal (improve fertility/kgs of milk solids). Your farm/breeding adviser can be of assistance to define goals for improving your herd.
- Breed from your best females in your herd. Females with an EBI greater than €140 (top 40%) should be targeted for breeding your dairy replacements. Heifers are typically the highest EBI animals in all dairy farmers herds and should be targeted for dairy AI.
- Use the ICBF Active bull list to select your dairy sires
- Use the Dairy Beef Index to select your beef AI sires
- Use Sire Advice to generate the best dairy and beef mating’s for your herd. These mating’s can then be sent to your AI technicians handheld or HerdPlus breeding chart or displays on App for example .
How to Run Sire Advice
- Choose Sire ADVICE or Sire ADVICE PLUS
Manually enter bulls option skips the female and bull selector page. This option is for farmers who pick their own AI sires for their bull team.
Sire Advice Plus allows you to select your best breeding females. Bull Selector options are available to pick your own AI bull team.
New Dairy Beef Feature
This is a new Feature on The SIRE advice landing page.
This is for dairy farmers to select once their finished their Dairy AI Breeding to switch over to beef matings to complete breeding season if beef AI sires are selected.
- Select your Breeding Females
- Females can be selected for culling, beef mating, crossbred mating and selective mating using the selection tick boxes.
- Females pre-selected for culling are excluded from the mating allocations.
- Females selected on screen for crossbreeding are then allocated to cross bred bulls to maximise heterosis.
- Females now selected for beef are allocated to a beef bull.
- When the DBI (dairy beef index) button is enabled, this will run beef mating allocations across all females in your herd when beef bulls have been added to the bull team. When the button is disabled, beef mating’s will only run on females who are selected for beef only. These dairy beef mating’s are designed to be easy calving and generate best possible Commercial beef value from chosen beef bulls.
- Pick Your Bulls
- Select bulls from either the Current Active Bull list, All AI bulls or Beef Bulls
- You can use sliders on screen to create your own bull teams based on your breeding goals.
- Click on ‘Select Bull‘ to add the Bull to the Bull Team
- Note the figures listed in brackets are your herds average EBI and PTA’s based on your most recent EBI report.
- Bulls can now be filtered based on sexed straw availability.
- If ‘Manually Enter Bulls’ is selected on the Sire Advice home screen, users are taken directly to this stage. Here you can enter your own pre-chosen bulls.
- Click on “View Bull Team” option to check your chosen bull team’s strength against your own herds EBI averages on the bull selector or manual enter bulls screen. Here you will see both your dairy bull team averages and your dairy beef team averages when applicable.
- Allocate Bulls & Straws
The Straw Allocation screen allows the user to change from percentage usage to the number of straws for each bull if preferred. There is a separate Straw Allocation screen for cows, heifers, beef cows and beef heifers, depending on the selections made in the Female selector screen.
- Generate Results
- Sire Advice results show the allocation for each of the cows in your herd. 3 bulls are proposed for each female for both dairy and beef, when DBI is enabled. Bull 1 is best mating match from bull team.
- Detailed with Sub Indexes tab and the Detailed with Traits tab both show the expected progeny performance, as a result of the Bull 1 mating. There are options on screen to convert results into Excel of PDF. No inbreeding mating’s are allowed in Sire Advice.
As soon as Sire Advice has been completed and sent to breeding chart/handheld, dairy farmers should then text the word “Chart” to 089-4577663 if they wish to receive breeding chart in the post.
- Save & Send to AI
- To have these bull selections on your Herd Plus Breeding Chart and AI technician’s handheld select ‘Send Now’.
- Sire advice can be run as many times as you wish and the most recent selection will appear on you AI handhelds and breeding charts after sending.