ICBF HerdPlus has just launched a new dairy bull usage report for dairy farmers. This report is an additional page to the weekly fertility report. The report outlines the main breeding guidelines on the minimum number of bulls to be used in your herd and the maximum bull usage recommended for individual bulls during the breading season.

The percentage of calves born in dairy herds to one individual bull is 34% nationally and this figure too high. Unequal usage means overuse of sires and the risk is that if the bull should subsequently fall in EBI then the genetic merit of the progeny will also be affected. Therefore, using a large team of bulls equally on cows and heifers is vital when breeding dairy replacements and to maximise the rate of genetic gain in your herd. The risks of some bulls going up and some bulls going down, evens out and it results in a higher reliability for the overall bull team.

This new report will help farmers to ensure that a team of dairy bulls are being used equally during the breading season, so the necessary action can be taken if individual bulls are being overused before dairy AI finishes on the farm.

The report contains three main sections:

Previous Bull Team Usage. This table includes the bull team size and the percentage usage for the most used dairy bulls in your herd for the last two years. The percentage of dairy born calves is a total of both female and dairy males born from the most used dairy AI bull.


Dairy AI bull Team Guidelines. This table outlines the breeding guidelines on the minimum number of bulls to be used on your herd and the maximum bull usage recommended for individual bullsThe herd size includes cows and heifers.

AI Bull Usage. This table includes details of the dairy bulls used since mating start date entered when generating the weekly fertility report.  It outlines the number of serves of each bull used and the % of serves of each bull from the total dairy AI serves since mating start date. The list of bulls is ordered from highest to lowest on the number of serves. It also includes the weighted average figures of the bulls used. Ideally, the percentage bred to the top of most used bull should not exceed 15%. Running the weekly fertility can help you avoid over usage of one dairy AI sire which is important as part of your overall breeding risk management strategy.

The weekly fertility and bull usage reports are now available to run and view on-line. Check out how your cows are performing on a weekly basis compared to the national average. Click Here to view how you can generate your weekly HerdPlus Fertility report online.

If you have any questions, or if you are having difficulty running or accessing your report, please call the HerdPlus Team on 023-8820452 or email [email protected].