Gerald Fry 193 Fry Rd. - Rose Bud, AR 72137
193 Fry Rd.
Rose Bud, AR 72137
Telephone - 501-454-3253
DAIRY BULLS & GENETICS
As I work with the dairy producers across the country I continue to be shocked at the frailty of the cows and bulls in the milking industry. All of the dairy bulls and most of the cows are animals that have been genetically designed to survive and produce on high-energy grains concentrates filled with starches, carbohydrates, processed minerals & vitamins. Without those extra commodity products in the diet, these animals simply melt away all of the red meat (the small amount they have) from their bones and are unable to survive and perform without it. They have a very sad looking frame of bones with a hide stretched over it and a mammary system to extract milk from the starches, carbohydrates and low absorption minerals they constantly consume. The way the dairy industry functions and with the type of cow it has created has become the feed lot system for the dairy industry. This now seems to be an industry designed to buy and sell commodity corn and produce commodity milk. The only difference is milk production verses meat production and the owners are the dairy farmer. Both systems are a bed & breakfast for bovines. The dairymen have been seduced into believing they must use corn to produce milk and survive. High levels of milk production require a fragile and high maintenance animal.
I believe I remember that a bovine is an herbivore and my atlas dictionary describes it as an animal that consumes grass. A grass consumer turns grass into red meat or milk for butter, cheese and consumable milk for humans from the dairy cow. Both beef and dairy cattle were meant to be herbivores and not “grainivors!” Is a sad day when a dairy cow cannot maintain her self on grass, give a respectable amount of milk and give birth to a new calf each 12 months? We know that the average cow requires 50% of all nutrition she consumes to maintain herself. I am apprehensive and expectant that the milking cattle require more than 50% of her food intake for her personal maintenance.
The dairy producers and breeders have been persuaded to breed for high production of milk. In doing so, it now requires a cow to be very thin in the shoulders, shallow and narrow in the chest (heart & lungs) area with a long fragile neck and head. There has been very little consideration given to the structure of the dairy cow except for milk production. The dairy cow (all breeds) are fragile to the point that they cannot perform (milk) on grass or grain without loosing their body condition. They then fail to breed back and are susceptible to many diseases such as mastitis, high cell count, milk fever, twisted guts, weak and sick calves, E.coli scours (huge losses) and low or no reproduction. ALL of these are robbers and thieves to the dairy cattle. We have these problems because we have not managed the genetics at breeding time. We have “single trait selected” for so many years that frailty dominates the entire dairy herd. We have bred and created female bloodlines, feminine characteristics for milk production and the bull has been left out of the formula. Masculinity and fraternal genetics are no longer a part of the equation. The dairy bull is only a calf getter. Take a look at the dairy bulls of the era before artificial insemination (AI). Maybe the dual purpose cattle were not that much out of line. 12000 pounds of milk on grass at $5.00 production cost is more profitable than 20000 pounds milk with grain at $12.00 cost. Until this is properly addressed, the dairy industry will continue to operate on low margin for profit.
The elusive secret is hidden in the sires (bulls). I have measured many dairy bulls and find them to be more fragile than the dairy cows and beef bulls. All the bulls including those on glossy paper from stud barns are nothing more than a possessor of a milk gene that allows the cow to recreate her milk production through her daughters. There is no consideration for the bull in mating programs. The stud barns are huge conglomerates extracting huge amounts of money from the dairy farmer industry using only bulls from high producing female lines that produce feminine bulls. Their one and only consideration is “money.” The bull is only a carrier of a milk gene and he has been made without need except to start another calf. The bull has been made a necessary evil to the dairy farmer and a money machine for the bull studs.
I remember studying in the book of Genesis that females were created as helpmates. This may ruffle the feathers of some of you gals but you will have to talk to God about that! That means the males are the ones to carry the genetic burden for sustainability, quality and performance of the progeny through recreation and the females give assistance. Any breeding practices other than this type breeding practice are not sustainable. I am concerned that the past forty years of breeding for maternal traits has taken us down some roads that are nothing but dead ends.
Jan Bonsma was recorded saying in 1968 that the genetics (gene pools) in America had regressed to the point of no return to functional efficiency without help from outside genetic sources. He may not have been that far off. This is 35 years later. A lot of corn has been consumed in that time. No other country uses corn in the diets of dairy and beef as we do. Folks, we have a problem!
© Bovine Engineering & Consulting - All Rights Reserved