Are you still considering switching up the genetic make-up of your dairy herd? Wondering what breeds to introduce?
Have you ever considered using Ayshire genetics, as they are actually one of the world’s most productive dairy breeds, producing in excess of 8,500 litres of milk per lactation in the UK!
Main Reasons for choosing Ayrshire -
1) Milk: Ayrshire cows are known for their ability to produce an abundance of high-quality milk, sometimes in excess of 10,000 litres per lactation, with an average of 8,500 litres per cow in the UK.
Milk from Ayrshire cows is also known for its low SCC and contains a high level of both butterfat and protein. The average butterfat is 4.51% and protein is 3.30%. Their milk also contains a high amount of Kappa Casein and its composition makes it perfect for yoghurt and ice cream production.
2) Ultimate Udders: Ayrshire cows are known for their strong udder formation. Their udders are usually long and wide, with a smooth texture, whilst teats are uniform and evenly placed.
3) Healthy and Long-living: Ayrshire cows are healthier than other breeds and usually live a lot longer. They are not, unlike competing dairy breeds, susceptible to foot rot and/or leg problems. In fact, Ayrshire cattle are free from genetic disease, which in turn means reduced veterinary costs.
4) Efficient forage converters: Ayrshire cattle are actually unrivaled in their ability to forage efficiently. They thrive in pasture-based systems and often perform much better than other dairy breeds in poorer pastures.
5) Highly adaptable: Ayrshire cattle can adapt to any and all climates. They are a very hardy, strong breed, often requiring less care and attention than other dairy alternatives.
6) Strong and worthwhile calves, with greater carcass yields: Calves are usually an average of 40kgs at birth and generally display great vigour and are very strong. Ayrshire cattle do not possess the yellow tallow characteristic that reduces carcass yields, meaning they can be raised for beef production and will produce profits for farmers. Bulls usually reach up to 900kgs at full maturity, with cows averaging 500-600kgs.
7) Temperament: Choosing breeds that are easy to work with is very important. Ayrshire cattle are known for their mild and gentle disposition. That being said, recent studies have found that Ayrshire crossbred cows are the most dominant of other crossbreeds (Jersey, Holstein-Friesian, Swedish Black and white). They were also the least attacked of all breeds.
8) Suited to organic systems: Ayrshire cows have become increasingly popular on Organic farming systems, due in part to their adaptability and foraging capabilities.
Active bulls -
There is currently one bull featured on the ICBF Dairy Active bull list, Kamouraska Ultra (AY4429). Ranked at 633rd, the bull was sired by K Palomino-ET and has an EBI score of €64 and reliability of 47%.
EBI Sub Indexes: Milk Production = -€9 at 67% reliability, Fertility = €37 at 47% reliability, Calving = €26, Beef = -€21, Maintenance = €30, Management = -€3, Health = €4.
This semen comes at a Calving difficulty of 4.8% and at a price of €26 from NCBC, with high availability. For further information, visit the ICBF Dairy active bulls list here.
So there you have it, if you want to produce long-lasting, highly-efficient milk producing breed with little to no health problems, why not go down the Ayrshire route?