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Immunity Breeds Immunity

Sick cows cost money. In some cases, a lot of money. Everyone knows some cows get sick, some don’t and then there are the repeat offenders. No one wants them but everyone has them. They could be the difference between holding on to that valuable milk contract and losing it.

In a recent survey commissioned by feed supplier (KW Feeds), UK dairy producers voted herd health as their number one priority. Hardly a surprise. I mean how many hands would go up in a room full of dairy producers if you were to ask the question, “ who wants more sick cows?”

At this point, you can’t pick up a magazine and avoid the word immunity. We can boost it and feed for it the articles say, but we can breed for it. At Semex we are all in on herd health, so alongside the world’s leading cattle immunologist (Bonnie Mallard) we have spent over 20 years proving it.

Our bulls were all tested for Immune Response and then it was a patience game. Sell the semen and wait till the data flowed in.

The results were incredible. High Immune responder bulls (Immunity+) bred cows with a more robust immune system.

High immune response is

· Highly heritable – high immunity passes from parent to progeny

· Leads to a greater response to commercial vaccines

· Produces higher-quality colostrum

Simply put, daughters of these bulls had less disease than their herd mates. Same environment, same management, but less disease. Surprise, surprise the higher the animal’s immunity, the less chance she has of getting sick.

Immunity+ was born, with the big difference being for the first-time dairy farmers are able to select cows that are going to be more resistant to disease. Gone are the days when we need to focus on an individual health trait.

Immunity+ - attacking disease at source.

And the research continues...

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