Ai Services to profile latest dairy sires

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Ai Services (Northern Ireland) Ltd continues to offer dairy farmers across Northern Ireland an elite selection of the bulls that have risen to the fore within the dairy breeding programmes ongoing across Europe and North America.

“We have developed strong trading relationships with these centres of breeding excellence over many years,” said company breeding services’ manager Ivan Minford.

“As a result, we are able to secure a wide selection of dairy sires that will deliver genuine performance improvement on dairy farms here in Northern Ireland.”

Ivan confirmed that 30% of the semen sold by the company is now sexed.

“At this time of the year, this figure rises to 50%. The latest technology allows sexed semen to be used on both heifers and cows,” he said.

Ivan also confirmed that all the sexed semen on-offer from Ai Services has been produced using the latest ‘Sexed Ultra’ technology.

He continued: “Cows that have a proven track record of calving in the autumn are, most likely, to be the higher fertility animals in the herd.

“Along with this, autumn calvers are maintained on a higher plane of nutrition with diets standardised throughout the winter months. These two factors combine to make an ideal scenario within which to use sexed semen.

“Herd owners also have a better opportunity to more closely scrutinise their cows at this time of the year.”

Ivan continued: “Farmers are now using sexed semen with considerably more confidence on mature cows.

“However, in order to make best use of this option the animals selected for breeding should be at least 42 days beyond calving, free of any metabolic or production-related diseases and should not have retained cleanings or any infection in their reproductive tract.”

Ivan also confirmed the growing investment in robotic milking systems, which is taking place across Northern Ireland at the present time.

He explained: “Our new Dairy Sires’ Catalogue for 2019 features seven bulls that are specifically recommended for robotic milking systems.

“Where these sires are concerned, more emphasis is placed on teat positioning, teat length, central ligament support, milking speed and temperament.

“Bulls recommended for robotic milking include Brook, Bouncer, Ranger and Topshot.”

The recently launched Ai Services’ Dairy Catalogue for 2019 features 28 Holstein bulls. Once again, the Ai Services’ team has succeeded in selecting a grouping of truly elite sires from the world’s main dairying regions.

Where production is concerned the bulls have an average Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of £652 with VH Brook Topping the poll at £849. Nineteen of the 28 sires are over +500 kg in Milk with Alta Montana the top-ranking selection at 1088kg.

Significantly, 26 of the featured sires are positive for both butter fat and protein percentages. Delta Skyline comes in at 0.16% protein with V H Brook sitting at 0.25% butterfat.

Adding to these impressive figures is the fact that 20 of the 28 bulls are over 50kg in terms of combined butterfat and protein. Montoya Hotspot, AOT Blowtorch Handle and Nihao are all over 70kg.

Ivan concluded: “The new catalogue reflects the fast-changing needs of dairy farmers in Northern Ireland when it comes to breeding for the future.”

For further information, telephone (028) 90833123. To view the new Dairy Sires’ catalogue on-line visit: