I have just finished reading the opinion of Dr. Nate Zwald. Surely he can provide numbers sustaining his opinions – although those numbers apparently come from one single herd directly managed by Alta itself. A more scientific approach would request more herds and managed by other people, not by the ones who are also sampling the bulls and selling the semen. I mean, if the Swedish would have a herd managed by them and would show the good numbers of the Swedish Cows or how good are their bulls’ daughters, well….I think someone would have something to argue about!
But although I don’t know Dr. Zwald, his words sound enough sincere to be trusted, at least to my ears.
I understand that we can change direction by using different genetics – that has been demonstrated. Nevertheless, Dr Zwald does not mention the word INBREEDING. This is the key. All the well known problems (fertility, stillbirths, etc…) come from INBREEDING. If we do not find a way to fight this, there will be no effective solutions. Using a higher DPR sire is good, but to achieve good results you should use it intensively and AI Studs would use him as Sire of Sons. The next generations of your herd would have a larger % of genes of this Bull, and more likely those cows would be bred to a new bull that also has some of those genes in his DNA.
This is going be frustrating - I have a 100 cow herd with fertility problems. Since Blastoff is a good bull for fertility (BTW, same family as Mtoto….sounds familiar?), I would breed 50% (at least….) of the herd to him. If Blastoff will transmit 100% of his genetic potential (difficult, but let’s give it) to all his daughters, I could have one day a group of 25 Blastoff daughters – with better fertility parameters. But then I have to breed them to a bull that – again! – is a fertility improver, as I don’t want to go back. And more likely the good fertility bulls come from 2 or 3 bloodlines, no more. And I should also find a bull without Blackstar/Mascot/Mark in his pedigree (Blastoff is Duster x Mascot x Mark). The challenge starts becoming difficult.
So, I understand and highly respect Dr. Zwald’s opinions, but I think those can be short-term solutions and not more. I understand this is hard to take, but hiding the truth does not help.
With my Best Regards,
Genesi Project S.r.L.