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MEMBERS PARTICIPATING:-
Richard Baynes - Red Sky Genetics, Northumberland
David Burroughs - Oakalby Friesians, Suffolk
Tim Gue - Huddlestone Holsteins, Sussex
Robert Hunter - Letterkenny Holsteins, Stranraer
Q
Do you know what level
of inbreeding do you have
in your herd, and is it of
concern to you?
Richard (left) - Currently there is only a very
small amount of inbreeding in my herd and it is
Q
Should more information be
available about inbreeding, and do
you fi nd computer mating helps
not really a concern to me. eliminate potential problems?
David - There is a very small amount of
inbreeding and it is a practice I try to avoid. Richard - It would be useful if more information was
Tim - Our current inbreeding coeffi cient available about inbreeding so breeders can use it to spot
for the herd is 4.8%, which is somewhere potential problems before the mating took place. I’ve never
between the UK and US average. Clearly used computer mating but I can see it would be a useful tool
this is a concern for us and we are taking a in some breeding programmes.
number of steps to reduce it. These include bull David - I do not use computer mating, all the information
selection – most bulls in the tank will reduce I require is on the pedigree records which I can obtain from
the level of inbreeding in the herd, and use of the HUK website.
the CDI mating programme Webmate which Tim (right) - Pedigree herds have some information on
will calculate the inbreeding coeffi cient of inbreeding currently, and I know that more information
potential matings. The average inbreeding will be available in the future on pedigree certifi cates for
percentage for current proposed matings is example. I would urge farmers to use mating programmes
under 3.3%, so progress can be made quickly. such as Webmate that calculate inbreeding percentages of
Robert - Very small, by default rather than proposed matings as it is not always obvious
design. With the Holstein sire selection it does which matings may result in high
not concern me as the choice of sires is vast. inbreeding levels.
The Jersey sire choice when it comes to my Robert - As herds become larger,
breeding criteria is however dwindling and so I inbreeding is harder to monitor
do have some concerns there. and more information should be
made available to the farmer. The AI
industry and breed societies should
Q
Have you practised line
breeding, and if so to what
make every effort to help the farmer
end?
understand the potential losses incurred
for every percent an animal is inbred.
Richard - I have never practised line breeding.
A mating program certainly takes, not most but all the risk
David - I always study the depth of pedigree
and high genetic animals usually show in the
away from a farmer inbreeding, as well as correctively mating
back breeding, so yes to some extent we use line cows to create more balance and uniformity.
breeding as a tool.
Most farmers, if they are pedigree breeders, have a good
Tim - NO! (At least not intentionally!)
knowledge of pedigrees and so understand inbreeding fairly
Robert - Always like a bit of a gamble - yes I
have practised line breeding. If it worked it was
well, but with a mating program to hand this can take all the
line breeding and if it failed it was inbreeding -
guesswork out of three generations behind both the sire and
not a practice to recommend! dam’s sire.
THE JOURNAL OCTOBER 2009 81
e5-09 Breeders Forum.indd 3 21/09/2009 22:11:16
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