When breeding cows, it’s usually bulls that stand in the spotlight. However, genetic information for cows is also useful. Use Cow ABVs to:
- monitor herd genetic progress
- prioritise animals to breed from (if excess replacements are available)
- identify heifers for sale (if excess replacements are available)
If you're a regular herd tester, you already have access to cow ABVs. For many years, farmers have used ABVs to select the best cows to breed from and since April 2012, cow data include traits like milking speed, fertility and type.
Cow ABVs are different to the production information and Production Indices (PI) that you receive after each herd test.
Cow ABVs compare animals between herds regardless of any differences in their management and feeding systems. They are published each April and August... you can obtain the data through your herd test centre.
Cow ABV(g)s provide you with more reliable information to help breed the type of cows you want. Cow ABV(g)s estimate a female’s genetic merit for breeding the next generation. This means the information is useful when making decisions about joining, flushing, selling and purchasing both the individual and her progeny.
Your Cow ABV(g) report provides breeding values using DNA data alongside the conventional pedigree and performance information.
More reliability means more confidence making breeding decisions. The reliability of cow ABV(g)s is significantly greater than conventional breeding values. The genomics adds the equivalent of 7 lactations to the reliability of the cow’s breeding value.