Who sired the 2022 crop of dairy calves?

877,974 dairy calves (dairy sire x dairy dam) were born on Irish farms in 2022. Of these, 602,179 are registered to dairy AI sires. This represents approximately 69% of all dairy calves born in the period. 11% of the calves were registered to a Stockbull with 21% approximately having no sire recorded. Within the AI-bred calves, 273,661 (45%) were male and 328,518 (55%) were female highlighting the increased update in Sexed Semen usage.

Below is a list of the 10 most used dairy AI sires in 2022.

Figure 1: top 10 dairy AI sires recorded in 2022. (Figures based on calves born from January to December 2022 with a sire recorded)

The importance of sire recording

A sire is one of the most important pieces of data that can be recorded on any animal. Being able to identify a sire of an animal is vitally important from a genetic evaluation point of view. Without a recorded sire, ICBF is unable to generate EBI information on an animal, as it is missing 50% of the back breeding. By linking the sire to the calf, we can better track the performance of the sire for the purpose of genetic evaluations.

Where a farmer runs a number of stockbulls within the herd, it can be difficult to identify the correct sire, especially if running stockbulls of the same breed. In this instance, we would recommend that farmers consider genotying their stockbulls and their baby calves. This process will quickly match the calf up to the correct sire via the DNA as well as providing the farmer with an abundance of information to help with decision making. Particularly when considering female replacements, it is extremely helpful to know their EBI and that the parentage is verified so that the farmer can make the most profitable decisions.

Figure 2: Sire recording trends 2015-2022.

While the level of sire recording has been increasing year on year, there is always room for improvement. To quickly and easily record missing sires, follow these steps:

Step 1: Log-in to HerdPlus

Step 2: Go to ‘Record Events’ & select ‘Missing Sires’

Step 3: Enter in the AI code or the full tag number of the bull.

Step 4: Press save. An EBI will generate overnight for the animal. EBI’s available to view for HerdPlus herds only.

For more information, please contact the HerdPlus office on 023-8820452 or email [email protected]