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9 Oct 2019

Viking On Tour at Härjanurme, Estonia

VikingGenetics had a Viking On Tour event in Estonia in the beginning of October. On the first day the participants had a field day at Härjanurme herd, where the focus was on hoof health. There was a demonstration of hoof trimming. The hoof trimmer showed in practice how to handle the cows, trim the hoofs and save the treatment data. There is not a central data base where to send the treatment information, but the herds can get a report and list of treated cows.

The Härjanurme herd has 1,050 cows with the average production of 12,000 kg milk, 4.20% fat and 3.45% protein. Most of the cows are VikingHolsteins but there are also some VikingRed and crossbred cows in the herd too. Härjanurme farm has been under Danish ownership since 2006.

The herd has used VikingGenetics’ bulls for years. “Already the first generation looks good. The plan is to get harmonic herd with high production, health and functional conformation. The next generation will be always better than the previous,” says Leo Hansen, the herd manager of Härjanurme.

Learn more about hoof health

Danish breeding advisor Mads Fjordside has helped Leo to select good bulls to their herd. “It is important to find the best suitable bulls for this kind of big herd. Usually, I recommend using 5-6 bulls for 5-6 months, then we change the bulls,” says Mads.

Leo has used also sexed semen in the herd and got good results with it. In addition to using sexed semen, they use beef semen for the low NTM cows, which are not suitable for breeding the next generation of dairy cows. Leo showed the group daughters of VH Bernell, VH Bosman, VH Gustav, VH Perkins and VH Miracle. They want moderate size cows and they have been happy with size of the daughters of VikingHolstein bulls.

On the second day there was a seminar where Lars Nielsen, VikingGenetics Chief of Breeding and Production, told about VikingGenetics’ breeding philosophy, what we have done in the breeding programmes and what are the plans for the future.

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