dun wrote: TexasBred wrote:
Stocker Steve wrote:
What causes this ?
That's pure horse shyt. cbcr read the numbers wrong I'm sure since he has no on farm experience with dairy cattle. Stillbirths were all but nonexistent on our dairy and calf deaths for any reason were rare.
It's an interesting statistic but sure doesn;t jibe with my experience. I wonder how much of that has to do with bull calves being knocked in the head at birth because of limited value. Easier to report still born rather than clubbed. Particularly on the mega dairys
Dun, I would have to agree with you. That was not the experience that we had either. I think that if research was done that you would find that many smaller family farms didn't have a high stillbirth rate. But as dairy's began to get larger and and many of these, outside help had to be hired, then these rates went up. Very few employees will take care of cattle as the owner or family member does.
More animals in a confinement operation contribute to this. Dairy animals on many of these large dairy's aren't run out on pastures. The land is utilized for producing the forage that is fed.
A.I. success and popularity has certainly contributed.
Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation born in 1965 and Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief born in 1962
It was documented in 1990 that these 2 bulls, Chief and Elevation accounted for nearly 25% of all the genes in the
Holstein cattle population in North America at that time.
Both were great bulls and Elevation himself was a highly inbred "Burke" bull with many crosses back to Wis Burke Ideal.
While they were influential in the vast improvement of both type and production of the breed, they also both
contributed to the decline in Holstein breed fertility and increase in stillborn birth rates.
For awhile it seemed every A.I. sire graduate from a young sire program was an Elevation son from a Chief dam or
vice versa and a couple were even from tightly inbred father daughter matings and 3/4 brother 3/4 sister pedigrees.
I read somewhere a few years ago that it was estimated that 94% of holsteins in the usa in some manner trace back
to both of these sires. It should be a warning to other breeds not to fall to in love with just 1 or 2 A.I. sires.
When registering crossbred animals with Holstein parentage, we find tremendous influence from Elevation and Chief and their sons, grandsons, and so on in every generation.
In North America, it seems that when certain pedigrees become popular then all of the bull studs jump on that bandwagon and offer bulls with the same pedigree. This not only happens with the dairy industry but Angus and many of the other beef breeds are just as bad. Breeders fall into this trap as well because they want to have daughters of these bulls in their herds.
In the Fleckvieh breed, there are some 17 different lines. In Germany we know that a producer cannot breed more that 10% of his herd to one bull. This keeps the level of inbreeding to a minimum. From what we have heard, many foreign countries follow this breeding practice to some degree, as breeding is more of a socialistic system.