LIC’s Once-a-day (OAD) index has been developed to help OAD farmers across Ireland breed cows that are ideally suited to the OAD milking environment.
The index has a strong correlation to Breeding Worth (BW). As well as the important efficiency and robustness traits, it focusses on four functional traits that are important in a OAD cow: capacity, udder support, front teat placement and milking speed. These are all traits highly valued by Irish OAD dairy farmers.
How the OAD selection index works
Top cows in a OAD system show excellence in many areas. Such cows produce well through the whole lactation, have strong tidy udders that milk out quickly and have great capacity for grazed pasture. This leads to greater longevity.
To help breed such cows, the index incorporates key traits that farmers have identified as being important for successful OAD milking:
- udder support
- milking speed
- body capacity
- front teat placement
You can use the OAD selection index to compare bulls based on their suitability for OAD systems.
Benefits of OAD milking
OAD milking is becoming more popular with farmers across Ireland and around the world.
Some dairy farmers do OAD for the whole season, others do it part-season, during dry periods or to take the pressure off cows during early lactation or before mating.
Benefits of milking your cows once every 24 hours instead of twice can include:
- save time — you’ll have more time for other jobs on the farm
- save money on labour and feed costs
- better herd body condition
- improved repro, easier to get cows in calf quickly
- reduced lameness due to less walking each day
- better suited to farm layout, contour or infrastructure on some farms