Selection for longer-living cows means embracing health and management traits!
Producers who emphasize health traits such as Daughter Pregnancy Rate, Productive Life, Calving Ease, Stillbirth and Somatic Cell Score are appreciative of Alta’s Health Plus program. The health index Alta created focuses on management traits, thereby simplifying the genetic selection for longer lasting, trouble-free cows.
For nearly a half century, breeders and A.I. companies have worked diligently to improve the production potential in the Holstein cow. A great deal of effort has been invested in changing her Conformation traits, resulting in more angular and more refined cows. There’s been dramatic improvement to udder shape, and feet & leg characteristics too
While dramatic progress on numerous fronts is undisputed, many believe it has come at a cost to overall cow fitness and vigor. In fact, today more and more producers are reducing their emphasis on production traits, so that greater attention can be directed to cow health and survival.
Now-a-days, more convincing arguments are presented that favor moderate-framed cows with excellent udders and strong feet and legs. Traits like Productive Life, Daughter Pregnancy Rate, Somatic Cell Score, Calving Ease and Daughter Calving Ease are increasingly being looked upon by progressive-minded producers as the way to develop longer-living cows. To aid producers in that quest, Alta has taken an innovative approach to create its own selection index for Health traits, and designating this sire listing – Alta Health Plus.