Monday, March 15, 2010

The dairy type

  There is but one entirely satisfactory way to select cows for dairy purposes, and that is by records of production of each individual, as determined by the use of scales for weighing the
amount of milk and the Babcock test for measuring the amount of butterfat in the milk. Official testing of pure-breds and cow test association, or dairy herd improvement association work, have made commendable progress during the past decade; but there are still vast numbers of cows used for dairy purposes on which no tests for milk and butterfat production have ever been made. In determining the value of such animals for dairy purposes the estimate must be based upon conformation (shape or build), or the degree to which the animal approaches what is known as the dairy form or type. While such estimates may be very inaccurate, the
development of the function of milk production through generations of selection and breeding in that direction has brought about certain characteristics in the conformation of the animal that may be taken into account in judging of the development of these functions. 
  The breeders on Jersey Island in 1834 formulated the first scale of points for dairy cattle. At the present time the breeders' associations have prepared for each breed a carefully drawn scale of points that are of assistance in acquiring a skill in the selection of cows by conformation. A scale of points undertakes to describe the conformation of the animal that, in the judgment of the author, denotes the highest development of the characteristics sought. The comparative importance of the parts described is represented by points that total 100 for the perfect animal. The lack, up to the present time, of a real scientific basis for preparing a scale of points makes them unsatisfactory in many ways, but they are of great general value, especially to the beginner.


Post a Comment