Selecting and Judging Dairy Cattle

Report
SELECTING AND
JUDGING DAIRY CATTLE
Animal Science I Dairy Unit
Selecting Desirable Breeding and
Production Animals

Based upon
 Physical
appearance
 Health
 Milk
production records
 Pedigree
Physical Appearance
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Referred to as type
Confirmation of the animal
Closely related to production
Cows with good type usually produce more
milk for longer periods of time
Health Records


Includes history of vaccinations and general
herd health
Apparent health of the animal is also
important
Milk Production Records


May or may not be available
Records give some indication of the possible
production of the offspring of the cow
Production Records


Show the pounds of milk produced and the percent milk fat
To properly evaluate milk production records the following
information is needed

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
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Number of times milked per day
Age
Feed
Care
Length of time the cow carried a calf during each lactation
Can only give an estimate of the ability of the cow to transfer
high production ability to her daughters
Best indicator of a cow’s transmitting ability is in the records
of her offspring.
Pedigree


Record of the animals ancestors
Most valuable pedigrees for selection give for
each ancestor
 Name
 Registration
number
 Type
rating
 Production record
 Show-ring winnings

Study carefully they can sometimes be
misleading
Judging Dairy Animals


See p. 721-725
Terms p.726-727
Steps in Judging
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http://www.uvm.edu/~jagilmor/judging/jud
ging.html
http://www.uvm.edu/~jagilmor/judging/vie
wcl2.html
Summary
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Physical appearance, health, milk production records and
pedigrees are important factors to consider when selecting
dairy animals for breeding and production
Animals are judged by comparing the animal being judged
with an ideal dairy type as described on the The Dairy Cow
Unified Score Card
Desirable traits are related to the cows ability to produce milk
for a long period of time
The mammary system is the most important part of the cow
Follow a routine when judging dairy cattle
First impression are usually the most accurate
Use dairy judging terms when giving oral reasons

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