Norwegian Red in an Irish System
Using the Norwegian Red breed as a crossbreed sire in Irish dairy herds has huge potential to add value to dairy businesses across the country.
Using the Norwegian Red breed as a crossbreed sire in Irish dairy herds has huge potential to add value to dairy businesses across the country. Possessing a balanced breeding goal for the past 50 years the breed has an ideal balance between production & health & fertility traits. Norwegian Red is the dairy breed with the lowest use of antibiotics in cattle breeding, in Norway 89% of the cows are not treated for clinical mastitis each year.
The co-operative nature of the Norwegian system has created a unique health card system of data collection, where every single treatment is recorded throughout an animal’s life. The focus on improving health and fertility traits can be seen in the superior characteristics of the Norwegian Red cow today; medium-sized cows with excellent production, superior health and fertility. With high pregnancy rates, short calving intervals and easy calving sires available.
In Ireland the majority of Norwegian Red semen is used for crossbreeding. As Irish research highlights crossbreeding has positive effects also in fertility & longevity and helps dairy farmers to achieve better results faster.
The Norwegian Red cow has a huge potential for milk solids production and this is the area where the breed has enjoyed the biggest genetic improvement in the last 10 years, along with udder conformation.
The Norwegian Red bull calf is worth significantly more than those from the main dairy breeds if being sold as a dropped calf but also has greater potential to thrive for farmers who decide to fatten them. In Norway all farmers finish their bull calves as steers.
Norwegian Red crosses are renowned for their suitability to an automatic milking system with 30% of farmers in Norway milking with this system. The breed is balanced for traits of very good udder conformation, milking speed & good locomotion increasing their suitability.
Diego Galli is the regional sales manager for Geno SA in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“What’s important to say is that breeds complementarity used in any crossbreeding program is more relevant than heterosis effects. Norwegian Red can be considered unique genetics for many aspects and it has proven to be a great fit for Holstein cows and other dairy breeds as well.
The choice of the breeds in crossbreeding, and of the bulls within the breeds, is critical to be successful. We’re investing heavily in actual feed intake recordings and in measurement of methane emission on Norwegian Red cows as we have a goal to develop a full feed efficiency index that lets dairy farmers breed for a more feed and energy efficient cow”.
Exciting Norwegian Red sires for this upcoming season are available through Dovea Genetics. The highest coloured sire on the EBI is Roen, NR5881 at €287. Roan is a longevity leader with very high kg fat & protein all the while being extremely easy calving and available sexed.
Krovoll NR4941, is the number 1 component bull in both Norway & Ireland. Daughter proven with nearly 2000 milking with an average 4.38% fat & 3.75% protein. Skoien NR8832 is the most in demand Norwegian Red bull internationally with above breed average for all traits with sexed semen available. Brand new black and white Norwegian Red, Nerby-P NR8826 is the number one red bull for low SCC & low mastitis frequency from a 4% protein dam.