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LIC breeds

Increase your herd’s genetic value with LIC Ireland’s genetics.

The right genetics set the foundation for a profitable herd. LIC aims to breed bulls that produce profitable cows – cows that are efficient converters of feed to profit, get back in-calf easily and that Irish dairy farmers love to milk. To ensure this, all our Daughter Proven bulls are graduates of our Sire Proving Scheme, a rigorous four-year breeding programme that produces many top bulls. As a result, LIC’s farmers across Ireland benefit from impressive rates of genetic gain in their cattle.

Choose from our three offerings of genetically superior bulls:

Holstein Friesian

Example of Holstein Friesian bull supplying LIC Ireland farmers

LIC’s Holstein Friesian bulls deliver highly efficient daughters with an average mature liveweight of around 540kg. Their moderate size and high milk solids (MS) percentage results in a highly efficient cow that uses less feed intake for growth and maintenance and more for production.

These Holstein Friesians are the result of more than 100 years of selection pressure in a seasonal dairying system. Together LIC and New Zealand farmers have blended the best New Zealand dairy bloodlines with suitable genetics from abroad to develop what many describe as the ideal cow.  

A breed for different needs

You can use LIC Holstein Friesians in any of the dairy farming systems found in Ireland. While outstanding on grazed pasture, international trials have shown that they also respond well to additional concentrates.

New Zealand Holstein Friesians have higher fertility under block-calving pasture-based milking systems. They have higher milk components than other strains, the ability to better maintain body condition (a trait included in the Breeding Worth index), and they continue to improve every year.

LIC Holstein Friesian longevity is equally impressive, with New Zealand cows averaging 4.5 lactations and the longevity breeding value for Holstein Friesian cows is 250 days longer than the genetic base cow. The rate of genetic gain averages 4.2 days of herd life per year. This gives you plenty of options for herd improvement and business profitability.

Efficient, sustainable performance and adaptable to a variety of farm systems, LIC Holstein Friesians are ideal when you wish to stay with black and white cows yet enjoy easy-care, high-performing milkers.

Our Irish customers use LIC Holstein Friesians to:

  • Breed a profitable, easy-care black and white herd that thrives in many farm systems
  • Increase production efficiency
  • Reduce maintenance feed costs
  • Increase fertility
  • Increase milk solids
  • Improve longevity and reduce cow replacement rates
  • Get heterosis benefits when bred over Northern Hemisphere Holsteins
  • Advance crossbreeding programmes without compromising on genetic merit

Jersey

Example of Jersey bull supplying LIC Ireland farmers

Fat is once again highly valued by consumers around the world, including here in Ireland, and the Jersey breed’s high-fat milk is fetching a premium in the market.

LIC Jerseys continue to dominate the across-breed bull rankings in New Zealand. Their production efficiency per kilogram of liveweight is legendary, reaching up to 1.1kg MS per kg of liveweight. Unsurprisingly the daughters of LIC Jersey bulls punch well above their weight in profitability indexes.

LIC Jersey bulls breed easy-calving, highly efficient and larger-sized daughters with an average mature liveweight of around 440kg. This continues to increase in line with farmer preferences.

Superior capacity is another hallmark of LIC-bred Jersey cows. Huge capacity allows them to consume 4% of their liveweight daily in grass compared to 3.4% for Friesian. Their high feed efficiency and good walking ability make them ideal in pasture-based systems. Yet they are adaptable, proving to perform well in more intensive systems.

LIC Jerseys are competitive across a number of farm systems and environments across Ireland and all over the world. They are particularly popular with farmers supplying milk to processors producing butter and cheese, and wishing to crossbreed to improve genetic merit.

Selected LIC Ireland Jerseys can:

  • Increase capacity and strength
  • Increase fertility
  • Provide a perfect out-cross solution
  • Improve total solids
  • Improve longevity
  • Increase herd profitability
  • Be used with confidence for yearling heifer matings, due to calving ease
  • Provide heterosis benefits and remove inbreeding depression in crossbreeding programmes

KiwiCross®

LIC Kiwicross breeding bull Super Stan

LIC KiwiCross® sires are a cross between Holstein Friesian and Jersey that give our Irish customers the best of both breeds; moderate sized, high solids, very efficient daughters.

KiwiCross® bulls take the guesswork out of crossbreeding. Use them as a team, for simple crossbreeding solutions, or in a targeted way to create the breed mix you want.

Crossbreeding provides hybrid vigour, giving a performance boost in the crossbred offspring. These include:

  • higher productivity
  • better fertility
  • greater longevity

Hybrid vigour explained

Hybrid vigour is seen when you cross animals of different breeds; the offspring tend to perform better than the average of their parents.

Hybrid vigour is strongest in the first cross between parent breeds. That means you’ll get the greatest hybrid vigour when you cross a Holstein Friesian with a Jersey, for example.

You can maintain hybrid vigour by back-crossing the resulting animal with one of the parent breeds, or by using a KiwiCross® bull.

The offspring of KiwiCross® bull matings over crossbred cows enjoy more than 50% of the original hybrid vigour – it doesn’t disappear.

Using KiwiCross® bulls makes it easy to retain complementary trait characteristics from the pure breeds in your herd. We do the hard work of making sure you get a good mix of both.

Benefits of LIC Ireland’s KiwiCross® sires include:

  • Maintaining genetic merit when crossbreeding
  • Providing a simple crossbreeding strategy
  • Giving an ideal breeding option over first cross Holstein Jersey animals
  • Introducing higher solids components into Holstein herds
  • Maintaining the complementary traits of the pure parent breeds
  • Improving fertility and longevity through genetic merit and hybrid vigour
  • Maintaining more than 50% of the first cross hybrid vigour
  • Improving lifetime production and profitability

Select the best bulls

View all the LIC bulls available in Ireland.

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