Genomic Testing & Breeding Advice
AI companies have been using genomic testing to accelerate the genetic progress of bulls for over a decade. Increasingly, genomic testing is now being used in females to aid selection of young heifers. Using CLARIFIDE® genomic testing as part of your tailored breeding plan can help you identify your highest genetic merit heifers and boost the lifetime productivity and profitability of your herd.
What is genomic testing?
Genomics is the study of how an animal’s DNA predict their traits and performance. As with humans, not all heifers are the same. By comparing the genetics of thousands of animals with their real world performance, genomics allows a reliable prediction of how an individual should perform throughout its lifetime. It can determine the likely difference between heifers, including disease risk, productivity and profitability. While pedigree data looks at the expected genetics of a heifer, genomics looks at the strands of DNA which a heifer actually inherited off its parents.
Using CLARIFIDE® to aid breeding decisions
In association with Zoetis, we are able to utilise the globally renowned genomic testing programme CLARIFIDE® as a tool to help you make breeding decisions.
Utilising genomics to select heifers provides a more reliable prediction of their genetic merit. This allows for faster improvement of a herd’s genetics, leading to more profitable dairy production. It also allows you to identify how a heifer might perform in different environments and farm systems, further assisting the breeding selection to suit your farm.
CLARIFIDE® can deliver a wealth of information on a heifer from just one sample. This includes:
- Health & fitness traits
- Production traits
- Type traits and composites
- Milk protein components
- Profitable Lifetime Index
- Parentage and inbreeding information
- Recessive disease carrier status
Mike Christie, Rob Hall and Roland Millar are our CLARIFIDE® vets, covering Shropshire, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and Derbyshire. We aim to help focus your breeding objectives and put together a genomic testing plan on your farm. We will deliver the results back to you to maximise the benefit of the testing. As part of the package we will:
- Evaluate your herd’s current genetic base
- Work with you to set breeding objectives that are specific to your farm
- Assess the likely response you will see from an investment in genomic testing
- Help plan and implement a clear testing strategy
- Develop a bespoke farm-specific genetic index – this will focus on improving the traits which are most important to your business.
- Provide your genomic results in an meaningful and useful format so that the predefined action plan can be implemented easily
- Monitor ongoing performance and ensure a maximum return on your investment is realised