In today’s post, we’re looking at some brand new Dairy Australia-funded research which is examining crossbreeding – exciting news for those of us who are looking for real answers behind the practice. Crossbreeding is often a topic that raises a great deal of passion amongst farmers and service providers – it seems like you’re either for it, or against it, with little in-between. Researcher Dr Jo Coombe (University of Melbourne) strides the rare middle ground very well. I had a chat to her to see what she’s doing to improve our understanding of its use in Australian systems.
Having recently attended the InCalf Reproduction Symposium, I was given a chance to interview a few of the speakers behind the scenes. My first interviewee is Dr Donagh Berry, from Teagasc in Ireland. The symposium booklet says that he is ‘responsible for the research on genetics in dairy and beef cattle and for the development and implementation of genomic evaluations in dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep in Ireland’. This is true. However, he’s also an intelligent speaker with a lovely accent and a roguish sense of humour… who is not at all afraid to speak his mind. Perfect for a podcast.
It’s one of the best-kept secrets in dairy fertility: the fact that dairy cows with high milk protein percentages are more fertile than other cows. It seems like such an unlikely thing – however, it’s not only true, but the relationship between milk protein concentration and dairy cow fertility has now been repeatedly proven by […]
Some of you might have seen an interesting little factoid that is being thrown around, namely that cows produce more milk after giving birth to daughters. Apparently, if the first calf a heifer produces is female, she has an increased lifetime milk output compared to heifers that give birth to males. Particularly since I often see this factoid displayed in sexed semen advertising, and just because it seems so darn convenient, I decided to investigate the science behind it. What I found surprised me.