The latest generation of polled genetics

High-indexing polled bulls (which breed naturally hornless animals) are an attractive option for some farmers.

Animals born without horns will save a farmer’s time and money and can also improve on-farm animal welfare.

Polled sires possess either one polled gene (heterozygous) or two polled genes (homozygous) – which determines whether 50% or 100% (respectively) of the progeny will be born without horns.

In December 2018, LIC’s bull acquisition team selected their latest polled bull calf to join the Sire Proving Scheme and bolster the Polled + BW bull team.

This latest addition, 119066 Meander APOLLO P-ET S2F (Apollo), is a heterozygous bull calf out of the well-known Holstein Friesian bull dam Meander FMI April S1F. Apollo’s sire, 117002 Arkan POLLISHER P-ET S2F, is also available in the Polled + BW bull team.

LIC’s 2019 sire catalogue will once again feature a polled offering, including two Holstein Friesian bulls (117037 Costers NORTHPOLL PP S1F and 118069 Costers POLLICE PP-ET S3F) that carry two copies of the polled gene – ensuring 100% of their offspring are polled.

One of the stars of the team is debutant Holstein Friesian sire 115132 Costers POLARISE-ET S3F (Polarise). With a BW of 158, Polarise features on the February 2019 Ranking of Active Sires list across breeds and ranks 18th within breed.

Better yet, Polarise has been drafted as a Premier Sire in the Holstein Friesian Daughter Proven team. 2013 was the last time that the industry had a polled Premier Sire (also bred by the Costers), and additionally Polarise holds the title of being the highest-ranked proven heterozygous polled bull that the New Zealand dairy industry has seen to date. 

This heterozygous bull is a real credit to the Costers polled Holstein Friesian stud in the Bay of Plenty with a fat BV of 36kg, 21kg of protein and a moderate liveweight BV of 21kg.

To have one of LIC’s top polled sires rubbing shoulders with elite horned sires is an excellent achievement.

LIC will continue to work towards closing the gap in genetic merit between polled and horned sires by working closely with polled breeders to utilise their best genetics.