Non-Holstein breeds see little change in position

Published 6 December 16

In contrast to the Holsteins, the genetic indexes for the other breeds remain remarkably stable, with little movement to report in the December run, published today (6 December) by AHDB Dairy.


Unchanged at number one on the Jersey breed’s Profitable Lifetime Index ranking is VJ Link (PLI £520), whose index shows good fitness (Fertility Index +11.5, SCC Index -15 and Lifespan Index +0.5) alongside high production.

Remaining in second position is VJ Hilario (PLI £519), also offering daughter fertility and fitness (FI +14.3, SCC -17, LS +0.5). Although this bull won’t improve fat percent compared with the average Jersey, he is the best protein percent improver in the top five of the breed at +0.02%.

Moving up from fifth position is Sunset Canyon Daybreak with a PLI of £422, reflecting very good production (milk 584kg, fat 19.1kg and protein 19.2kg).


Amongst the Ayrshires, VR Gunnarstorp Back Gobel is unchanged at number one, with a PLI of £573 and good milk (390kg) and solids production (16.7kg fat and 12.6kg protein). Gobel is also a breed-leading fertility and lifespan improver (FI +16.5 and LS +0.7).

In second position is the new entry, VR Dansjo Haslev Hammer (PLI £489). This bull is a strong transmitter of milk solids both for weights and percents and a solid improver of fitness (SCC -5, LS +0.1, FI +8.5).

Remaining in third position is Pell Pers, with a PLI of £463 and transmission of low cell counts (SCC -12) and good daughter fertility (FI +10).

British Friesian

Friesians also see little change with top-ranking Catlane Chad (PLI £519) retaining his lead. Transmitting good production with strong components (21.1kg (0.15%) fat and 16.1kg (0.11%) protein), this bull has good all-round fitness and calving ease, and is the best SCC improver in the top five.

Also unchanged at number two is Catlane Caleb (PLI £375). Although transmitting a lower volume of milk than his front-running herdmate, his percentage fat transmission is outstanding at 0.31% and his daughter fertility (FI +4.8) and direct calving ease (+2.5) are the best in the top five.

Two new Kirkby bulls – Kirkby Jupiter and Kirkby Major – enter the running in third and fourth position, both offering good production and fitness, with PLIs of £360 and £340 respectively.

Remaining top of the young bull genomic rankings for the British Friesian breed is the Chad son Goonhilly Joseph with a PLI of £394.

Other breeds

Other dairy breed indexes are also published on line where the Montbeliarde, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Shorthorn and Fleckvieh are all represented.

Fern Pearston“It’s very important to use the UK equivalent indexes when choosing a bull, regardless of breed, as only then can UK breeders obtain a genuine comparison of their transmitting ability against all other bulls of that breed,” says Fern Pearston, animal genetics manager for AHDB Dairy.

“Without this comparison, it’s impossible to compare a bull from one country against another, and impossible to know which bulls would most suit any herd,” she says.