Every farm strives for profitable levels of milk, fat and protein yield. Cows that are healthy have the ability to maintain consistent production levels and breed back regularly. ICC$ is a superior tool to select the best balance of healthy, fertile cows with high production.
To better understand the relationship between genetics, lifetime milk yield and age of the cow, AgSource Cooperative Services production records for 1,033,235 Holstein cows were analyzed.
The data clearly depicts the higher a cow's sire ranking is for ICC$, the fewer months it takes for the cow to reach 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk yield.
Graph 1. ICC$ Percentiles vs Average Age for Achieving 100,000 lbs Lifetime Milk Production1
1Adams, H., Fourdraine, R., Coburn, A., and McCullough-Dieter, C. CRI International Center for Biotechnology, March 2016. The data includes 28,010 cows (from the more than 1 million total) that had adequate identification, were not sold for dairy purposes and stayed in the original herd to achieve at least 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk yield. Cows were ranked by the sire's ICC$ values and divided into percentile groups (e.g. 90% represents bulls with high PTA values between 90 and 99%). Average age for the bulls' daughters when they reached 100,000 pounds of lifetime milk yield is depicted by the columns.