Popular Belgian Blue bull Manitou de Belle Eau (DBZ) is no longer available from AI company Progressive Genetics.
While some AI technicians may still have some straws, further straws will be unavailable.
Over the years, DBZ was a very popular bull with dairy farmers. With very high reliability, he was the ideal bull for farmers wishing to use Belgian bull genetics on their mature dairy herd.
Additionally, Belgian Blue sire Rachid de Remichampagne (BB2083) will also be not available in the future. BB2083 was also another popular bull with Irish dairy farmers.
Two Belgian Blue sires will replace them – Coolbanagher King (BB4369) and Ideal de Petit Waret (BB4286). These bulls have solid calving proofs and plenty of progeny on the ground.
BB4369 has a dairy cow calving difficulty of 6.9% at 82% reliability, while BB4286 has a calving difficulty figure of 8.3% at 93% reliability on dairy cows.
Two additional ‘white’ Begian Blue bulls – Marius Des Princes de Ligne (BB5226) and Damoiseau Chard (BB5259) – have been chosen to use on dairy cows, but only as test sires and these should only be used on mature cows only.
“Manitou has been very popular with dairy farmers for a number of years, even through the expansion years when ‘blues’ were not as popular as they had been before – particularly on dairy cows,” Progressive Genetics’ Ross Hamilton explained.
“But, we have been witnessing more ‘blue’ usage in recent times.
“Using Belgian Blue on the right cow makes as much sense as ever it did, with calving ease, gestation length, colour and calf quality having always been big focus areas. We’d encourage farmers to use Belgian Blue early on in the breeding season on mature cows.
“Each year, we test a couple of Belgian Blue sires to insure a supply of the right Belgian Blue genetics to our dairy farming customers. We also have British Blues – Greystones Governor (BB2344) and Newpole Kojak (BB4953) just to name a few.
“In one episode of ‘George goes dairy farming’, Meath-based dairy farmer Patrick Martyn spoke about having a calf that is easy to sell and desirable.
“With the like of BB4369 and BB4286, that is what you are getting – coupled with no calving issues, again on the right cow,” he concluded.