The selection of high lifetime production yields 100-tonners

Category: Longevity
Holstein 100-tonner cow in front of a farm
100-tonners at CRV test farm Barendonk Holsteins

Selection of high lifetime production yields 100-tonners at CRV test farm Barendonk Holsteins. An impressive series of show successes and a big list of 100-tonners.

With this, the herd of the Hermanussen family from Beers (The Netherlands) has already attracted attention for years. Since Barendonk Holsteins has been active as a CRV test farm, former donors of the Delta breeding programme have been pushing up the number of 100-tonners.

Seven 100-tonners in a year and a half

Former donors of the breeding programme are well represented in the list of the seven 100-tonners of the past eighteen months. Since 2012, every year ten to fifteen Delta heifers have been enrolled in the dairy herd at the CRV test farm that counts 270 animals. Four animals of the first groups of Delta donors reached the milestone of one hundred thousand litres. Is this a coincidence or a result of selection by CRV? We are asking Marcel Fox, coordinator of the Delta breeding programme.

Good management and good genes

'The management has to be good and breeding gives the final push', says Ivo Hermanussen, who together with his brother Jens took over the business from their parents Jan and Liesbeth Hermanussen. With sixteen 100-tonners from the breeding farm on the Cooperation CRV website, this is truly a family achievement. We introduce some of the cows to you.

Two young farmers in front of their farm
Ivo and Jens Hermanussen

'Remarkable how easily and how much milk she gives'

The first former Delta donor, the polled Delta Rena P, was a dairy cow pur sang. At the age of 9 years and 9 months, she became very young a 100-tonner. Ivo explains: 'She gave 65 litres in her seventh lactation this autumn. It is remarkable how easily and how much milk she gave. She could handle the production with her eyes closed.' Rena recently left the farm after a lifetime production of 128.880 litres in 2657 days and an average lactation value score of 125.

Delta Rena P (star cow, AB 86, Melvin P x O Man x Jocko) comes from a very successful family. Several of her half-sisters are also 100-tonners. Their dam is the well-known breeding cow Etazon Renate. For example, you also may have daughters of breeding bulls like Atlantic, Titanium, Solero and Danno. Nowadays, Red Holstein also reap the benefits of her offspring with a bull like Delta Drone PP-red.

Delta Rena P cow
Delta Rena P, daughter of Etazon Renate, produced 122.880 litres

Efficient feed-to-milk conversion

‘A high lifetime production is a spearhead of the breeding programme,' says Delta coordinator Marcel Fox. 'For years we have been breeding for a healthy, productive, long lasting cow. The first two years of rearing a cow, you only have costs, therefore the lifetime production of the cows is taken into account in an efficiency conversion from feed to milk.' The result becomes visible. The lifetime production of Dutch dairy cows rose to a record of 37.401 kg of milk last year.

Following great-great-grandmother´s footsteps

Two former donors who have now exceeded the 100.000 kg of milk have illustrious matriarchs. Delta Gonny (AB 86, Palermo x Spencer x Jocko) comes from the cow family of Cash daughter Molenkamp Grietje 13. The trouble-free, hardy Retraitehoeve Delta Wianne (AB 87, Kylian x Ramos x Lightning) traces back to Etazon Warsau, from which among others, the bull American Rovelli-Red descends.

Delta Gonny cow
Delta Gonny, latest 100-tonner

Strong, pretty Paulina

Barendonk Paulina 134 (Ex 90, s. Classic x Talent x Stadel) is a strong daughter of an influential cow family, bred by Hermanussen for CRV. A breeding bull from this family is, for example, Barendonk Prestige. He is a supplier of strong cows with healthy udders and that is exactly how the Paulina family breeds. About the 100-tonner, Paulina 134, Ivo says: 'She is a fine inspected cow with a broad forehand, a super udder and very best legs.'

Healthy cows that require little labour

‘Of course, we select rigorously on health traits.' Marcel Fox explains: 'Good udder health, fertility and claw health are important conditions for a cow to last long without problems. Through breeding we can greatly improve these traits.'

Polled Lol 306 PP, special and with longevity

'The most special hundred tonner is Lol 306 PP,' says Ivo. 'With her milk-type appearance, she was successful at shows.' This Caudumer Lol 306 PP (Ex 91, Magna P x Lawn Boy x Stadel) produced over 100.000 litres in five lactations. She is the dam of the well-known breeding bull Delta Fun P. Her full sister, Lol 305, is the granddam of Lol 422 PP. From this Handy P daughter, sons Delta Launch PP, Delta Cartoon P and Delta Emoji P are currently in offer at Red Holstein. One generation later, grandson Delta Firestone is the highest available, Red Holstein NVI bull.

Caudumer Lol 306 PP cow
Caudumer Lol 306 PP, 100-tonner and dam of Delta Fun P

Appearance supports high lifetime production

Functional appearance supports long-term, problem-free production. 'Udders and legs must be good of course,' Marcel Fox tells us. 'The past few years there has been extra emphasis on sufficient curvature in the legs and not too short teats that are correctly placed. The cow's conformation should also be good; an average height measurement, sufficient width and capacity and a correct cross shape are essential in this regard.'

Four former Delta donors, Barendonk Pauline 134 and two cows from the Barendonk Wilma family reached the milestone of 100.000 kg. Through good management and comfortable housing with deep litter boxes, the farm creates the right conditions. Selected genetics for lifetime production does the rest.