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The DAT People's Choice Question of the Week: Old Bulls
With all the genetic progress that has taken place and continues to increase, have you or do you ever use any of the 'old bulls' in breeding your herd?
Reader Comments
Comments posted do not express the viewpoint of Dairy Agenda Today or its staff members.

John
April, 19 2019
As some of you have already said, what does "old" mean? We don't use the really old bulls as there are so many better bulls out there. We do have three Goldwyn heifers on the place but even that is reaching back pretty far. The thing breeders need to keep in mind is that genomics is still a prediction. It is about a 70% reliable prediction but it still misses. The gold standard is actual performance. Sometimes that seems to get lost today. We continue to have some real good Doormans, Moguls, and McCutchens. Both Modesty and Jedi are a bit of a disappointment.
OLDSTER
April, 18 2019
Of course we 'relics' think old is good! Even when Elevation was hot, I was looking for the best Elevation son, [Tradition]. Hopefully your kids, or a bulls offspring, are better than the old man! Be sure to give their mother some credit. Today's Holsteins need to watch out for losing rib, but going back is really not progress.
Old Timer
April, 18 2019
There is no doubt that the fastest genetic progress comes from shortening the generation interval as much as financially possible. We have always known that the youngest generation was genetically superior but before genomics we had to wait several years to get a good phenotypic comparison. With genomics we can see at a very young age which calves got the magic combination we hoped to get when we made the mating and the magic combination from younger parents will be better that that from older parents! Yes there will be disappointments, as they say genetics is not an exact science.
Adam w
April, 16 2019
How "old" needs to be established... The industry is moving so fast that some people might consider Goldchip or mogul old. If that's the case then yes I like some old ones because I know what I'm getting! On the other hand if old is Bulls like Starbuck, Linjet ,Leader, Skycheif or Mark then I'm out! These were all great bulls in their time but their time has passed. You could catch lightning in bottle once with these old bulls but 99% of the time you will be dissapointed . I can't explain why it doesn't work but for the most part it does not.
Antique believer
April, 15 2019
Sorry if stepping on any toes but believe if you not playing the "numbers" game why not use the oldies but goodies. They stood the test of time. Can still make good ones. Sure you won't have a daughter of the "new kid on the block" but will have a solid barn full of cows that are bred to last many years versus gone by second lactation because "oops" the bull you picked not the udder or leg improver he was suppose to be. Nothing against the newest fad - that's how they get proven. We use probably 75 percent old boys and 25 percent new. Least that way won't get totally burned if backfires. Everybody thinks differently. Makes world go round.