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What does it mean when a farmer requests an AI service provider to serve with “a higher milk producing seed?” (Aka, mbegu ya maziwa)

What does it mean when a farmer requests an AI service provider to serve with “a higher milk producing seed?” (Aka, mbegu ya maziwa)

When a farmer requests an AI service provider for “a higher milk-producing seed,” it suggests that the farmer is likely seeking assistance in selecting or breeding dairy animals with a focus on improved milk production. In the context of animal breeding, the term “seed” is commonly used to refer to the genetic material or offspring of an animal.

The request implies a desire for guidance on choosing a sire(bull) or dam(cow) with a strong genetic background for high milk yield. The AI service provider may utilize predictive models, such as Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) explained below, to recommend animals with favorable genetic traits associated with increased milk production.

This approach helps the farmer make informed breeding decisions, aiming to enhance the overall productivity of the herd by selecting animals with a higher potential for transmitting desirable milk-producing genetics to their offspring.

Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) is a measure used in animal breeding, particularly in selecting dairy cows. It predicts the genetic merit of an individual for a specific trait, such as milk production, based on pedigree and performance data.

In the context of dairy cows, PTAs are calculated using complex genetic evaluations that consider factors like the cow’s own performance, the performance of its relatives, and the heritability of the trait in question. PTAs help dairy farmers make informed decisions when selecting animals for breeding, aiming to improve traits like milk yield, reproductive efficiency, and longevity.

Choosing cows with higher PTAs for desired traits increases the likelihood of passing on favorable genetic characteristics to the next generation, ultimately enhancing the overall productivity and efficiency of the dairy herd.

If a farmer selects the sire Postman above, with a Milk Predicted Transmitting Ability (PTA) of +689 kgs, it suggests that the offspring from this sire are expected to have an increase in milk production of approximately 689 kilograms compared to the average genetic potential within the population.

In practical terms, this choice indicates that the selected sire is genetically predisposed to contribute positively to milk production in its progeny. This decision aligns with the goal of improving the overall milk yield in the herd over successive generations. It’s important for the farmer to consider other relevant traits as well, depending on their breeding objectives, such as reproductive performance, health, and conformation, to achieve a well-rounded and productive herd.