According to population studies, on average around 16% of your cows will have low levels of natural immunity, 68% will have average levels with the remaining 16% having high natural levels.
These are the cows that are the future of your herd as they hold the key to reducing disease levels and tackling antibiotic and management issues.
It has been proven that these cows have 42% less disease than the low and average combined.
When all the heifers look the same and it’s impossible to tell the best from the rest, the best way of determining which cows are the healthiest has been through assumption. Every dairy farmer has “invisible cows”, the cows that always get back in calf easily and rarely, if ever, have mastitis or foot problems.
These are the cows that will, in all probability, be the ones with high natural immunity genes – in other words be high immune responders.
Identifying these cows early enough to make profitable management decisions is now easier than ever, with Elevate™, the new genomic test introduced by Semex. It effectively offers female genomic rankings for all commercial traits, plus a trait that is unique to Semex, immune status. The test identifies and classifies females as High, Average or Low immunity, with those animals classified as High having 42% less disease.
“Taking the test is extremely simple.” says John Berry, Semex Sales Manager for Northern Ireland. “The transfer of information is all automated between a specific Elevate App, the test itself, and the firm’s genetic sire selection and mating programs SemexWorks and OptiMate. All the farmer needs to do is take an ear tissue sample from each animal and post it to the lab.
“The genomic samples are collected and identified on the App minimising labour and time. No paperwork is involved and there are no hairs to pull.”
Once the results are back farmers can then improve the health status of their herd through planned breeding policies to Immunity+ sires, or corrective matings and culling policies for the lower immune status cows.
“Immunity+ technology for sires has been proven to improve the health status of cows and reduce disease, but the challenge has been to bring that technology to every female in every dairy herd in the land and offer a solution to speed up genetic progress on health even more,” concludes John.
“Elevate does this in one simple, comprehensive and cost-effective test.”
Come visit Semex at Stand EK60 at the Winter Fair .