SUCCESSFUL GRASDAG 2023!
K.I. Samen has been showing progeny groups to the public for more than 40 years, because farmers must be able to see the quality of a bull in practice. During the successfull grasdag 2023 event we showed four amazing progeny groups and our cow-in-balance: Malki daughter Geertje 669 (EX 92).
BALANCED DAIRY COWS AND IMPRESSIVE PARADE OF BULLS at the successfull grasdag 2023
Progeny group Bonhill Dex van de Peul
Dex made many farmers enthusiastic during the bull presentation and his daughters made a very worthy debut during the successful grasdag 2023 event. These nicely developed heifers have a well-balanced skeleton. The udders showed their capability for high production, with the rear udders making a very good impression. The quality of their legs was particularly noticeable with very good locomotion but also a good parallel placement. Practical proven breeding! We once again showed a progeny group to the public before the bull received his official breeding values. With his aAa code 516432, easy calving and the performance we’ve seen to date on various farms, Dex makes a very good addition to our range of sires
Progeny group Valor Tobor
Tobor also made his debut at successfull grasdag 2023 and his progeny group was described as the best on show by numerous cow connoisseurs. The second-calf lead cow was followed by five heifers with plenty of youthfulness, width and strength in their build and impressive udders . All the cows in this group had very well attached, high quality udders. High uniformity typifies the legs of Tobor’s daughters: sound hocks and nicely parallel front and rear leg posture. In short, a high-class progeny group and we expect to see these qualities reflected in his first index ranking.
Progeny group VDR Slash
After we presented a progeny group by Slash at the show in Hardenberg, it was now the turn of a group of second and third calf cows with lots of dairy strength. This group was very typical of the breed and simply radiated an urge to produce – a quality also mentioned by our customers around the world. Slash daughters produce milk with good components with supreme ease. They have well-attached udders that function well in every milking system. Good legs are a trademark of Slash daughters; strong, clean hocks and correct claws. Slash daughters are also praised for their good udder and claw health.
Progeny group Big Redstar
The great impression made by Redstar during the bull presentation was replicated by his group of daughters. Redstar daughters are powerful, well-built cows with a lots of length in the body and above average width. They often have a wide chest and wide rump. The firmly attached fore udders and wide, highly attached rear udders are of super quality. Their legs are also strong and sound. Redstar daughters cope easily with high milk production, maintain a good body condition and are persistent. In addition, Redstar is a calving ease bull, which makes him very interesting choice as a sire.
Well balanced cow: Geertje 669
Malki daughter Geertje 669 is one of the cows that exemplifies K.I. Samen’s breeding philosophy. Geertje 669 could be admired live during successfull grasdag 2023. She is beautifully in balance from her head to her tail and possesses all the qualities that make her a prime example of contemporary Holstein breeding.
Progression of bulls
Export manager Henk Brons and breeding consultant Pierre Litjens presented the parade of bulls to the many visitors. Henk Brons looks back: “Although K.I. Samen offers an extensive portfolio of more than 30 breeds, the available time was too short to show them all! We presented a selection of eight bulls to give visitors an impression of the different animals and show them the stages they progress through from a young bull to an adult.”
BB beef on dairy programme
The BB beef on dairy programme is a key component of our sire programme. It is the largest breeding programme in the Netherlands, and more than 25 BB bulls are now housed here, all originating from proven cow families. These bulls have often been calved naturally, selected for maternal calving ease and gestation time. Henk: “We test the bulls in practice and do not sell any young bulls with scores based on their DNA. Our bulls are selected from cow families owned by well-known BB beef on dairy breeders. They are all breeders that have already delivered proven bulls to K.I. Samen during the last 25 years.”
Pierre: “Our bull Bobo van de Graashook ranks number one in the Netherlands for calving ease (138) and Bruno van de Plashoeve is the top scorer for gestation time (87). But we also have bulls with slightly different figures and more muscled calves. We can offer a suitable bull for every farmer, as there are plenty of differences in farms even just between the Netherlands and Belgium.”
Henk: “In countries where Angus and Hereford are very popular you can also see a shift towards using BB sires with a short gestation time. New Zealand, England and Ireland where block calving is practised, for example. Bulls like Bruno, Menno and Bobo are very popular choices there to bring cows that get into calf later back into the block calving system. The gestation time is sometimes even up to 10 days shorter.”
“We like to see bulls mature into strong adults!”– Henk Brons
Development stages of bulls
During the presentation, Henk explained the various development stages in the career of a bull at the AI station. “Bulls arrive here after they have completed the entire quarantine cycle protocol. No bulls go straight from the farm to the our barns here. They complete a whole process beforehand that includes multiple tests to reveal their health status. We are a united Europe, but each member state applies different criteria to bull studs that produce European certified semen; ranging from meadow access up to the conditions imposed by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
“When the young bulls first arrive here they are housed in the barn closest to the production barn. During the initial weeks they are exposed to the many aspects that play a role at the AI station such as getting used to the stockmen, learning to listen and follow and learning how to mount the dummy.”
Pierre adds: “We don’t just monitor the development of a bull’s daughters, we closely follow how the bulls develop too. We like to see bulls mature into strong adults. You are occasionally disappointed, but generally pleasantly and positively surprised. K.I. Samen has a section that houses ‘waiting bulls’. No semen is collected from these bulls temporarily until their daughters start lactation. However, popular sires keep producing due to the high demand.” He mentions Big Redstar as an example: “Redstar is bull that has really shown positive progress. In the first few months we saw him transform into a wider, more powerful bull. His aAa code is 543162.”
Henk says proudly: “Bas Engelen designed the building that houses the adult bulls himself. Each bull has a pen of more than 50 m2 with a section for eating with a feed fence, a section where the bull can lay down on chopped straw and a section where they can paw the sand and dig – which they love doing. Many people may know the fabulous photos of Malki playing in the sand. Animal welfare is our priority!”