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Irish Cows are Getting Taller

28.03.2007
The Agricultural Research Forum, which took place in Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland, on March 12 and 13 has heard how dairy cows are now more docile, faster milking and taller.

The strong trend towards more angular cows over the last decade is a consequence of the upgrading of the traditional British Friesian to Holstein.

Genetic selection in Irish dairy cattle over past decades has predominantly been on milk production. Genetic correlations with milk production suggest that, under such breeding objectives, animals will become taller and wider, and develop deeper, more strongly supported udders.

Research carried out at Teagasc Moorepark, in conjunction with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, suggests that animals are indeed getting taller.

“This has repercussions for optimal cubical and milking parlour design,” explains Dr Mairead Bermingham, Teagasc Moorepark. “In addition, animals also have developed deeper, more strongly supported and attached udders which has negative implications for udder health. Furthermore, animals have tended to become more docile and faster milking, which has both management and welfare benefits.”

Eric Donald | alfa
Further information:
http://www.teagasc.ie/news

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