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Deep Uddered 1st Lactation Heifers printer friendly version
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Sundowner
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Posted Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 12:16 PM  

Gday All!!!
What is everyones view on udder depth in 1st Lactation heifers???
Me personally like to see my heifers with shallowish udders on their 1st lact but not too shallow. I like an animal that will last in the herd without blowing their ligament even if it means loosing litres in that first lactation.
However, my only gripe is when it comes to Classifying, OFC's and the likes we seem to continually get told they are too shallow. So, what does everyone else find and what does the Standard say the desired depth should be???


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Posted Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 01:57 PM  

I'm probably the radical here but I love big uddered heifers. The cows one main role in life is to produce milk and the more she can give the better. And as I've said dozens of times you can't get 20 litres out of a 10 litre bucket so you need a big enough bucket to get the amount of milk you need. Shallow udders don't do anything for me. I expect my heifers to produce as much as possible and as I said they need big udders to hold all the milk they need to give to repay you for the 2 years of free feed they have had and also to pay for the feed you are now giving them and to contribute to your gross income as much as possible.

I realise that most type breeders love shallow udders but we have to be very careful of going to extremes down that path. I am most likely to not use any bull that is plus for shallow udders as I believe they won't produce enough for me. I may be extreme but my cows produce first and foremost. That pays the bills not shallow fancy udders that hardly hold any milk in the front quarters. You need 4 large quarters on a cow not just 2 large back quarters. I like udders nearly down to knees rather than udders half way down if thats an idea of depth. I tend to think that shallow uddered heifers will be shallow uddered cows and therefore low producers all their lives. I wouldn't give up any litres from a heifer. The more your heifers produce the more they will produce as cows. its fairly simple.

Please don't worry about sparing my feelings with your replies. My opinion on this subject has not changed for over 30 years of breeding. I've had all the comments under the sun but until I see shallow uddered heifers producing as much as my favoured deeper uddered heifers I am not about to change my mind. Have to admit that the one thing I hate more than shallow uddders is tiny teats though but thats not this discussion.

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Posted Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 05:29 PM  

Thanks for your reply. I would have to agree with you. We are all out to make money some way or another. When it comes to production I dont think their is a great deal of litres lost by having neat compact udders. We have been taking note of production figures at herdrecording and comparing all our first lactation heifers and we have actually found that our particular heifer that we were recently told is too shallow, is actually out producing "ALL" of her mates including two that are slightly below the hock already. She also is PI above 100 in a mixed breed herd.

Like i said before, i like cows that have longetivity. I used to work as herd manager on a commercial farm before going out on our own and we were continually culling 2nd lactation cows because you couldnt physically get the cups on them because they had blown ligaments. We would then have to go out and buy in more cows to replace them with. By the time you pay for the rearing costs, i dont see how he was making any money out of them. He would have been better off mating everything to beef bulls and buy in milkers.

I would also have to agree i cant stant tiny teats either.



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Posted Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 08:41 PM  

I also love longevity. I expect every heifer calf born on my farm to be capable of producing well into her teens baring accidents. The most important thing however [ and I'm sorry if I am going off your topic a little ] in my own humble opinion is temperment. Doesn't matter what else you've got if you lack that.

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Garcola
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Posted Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 10:50 PM  

deep uddered heifers become deep uddered cows.
give me high wide rear udders with firm front udders and decent teat length.
short teats no !!!!!!!!
temperament a must I 100% agree

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Lizard
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Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 01:03 AM  

Shallow udders for me . I want cows that are going too last till there 10 to 15 years old . Not blow their udders out in their first few years just cause we want them too give lots of milk .
I no we want our cows to produce more & more milk cause we get payed for milk . But i milk jerseys because of their high componets & every thing else that is good about jerseys . Not black & white jerseys.
I dont breed for the show but i do love too see a lines of cows in the dairy when milking , with beautiful looking high udders that dont get dragged threw the mud when we have some really wet times & the cups sitting on the ground cause their udders are too deep .
So for me shallow udders with just above average for milk that will last .
But for temperment we bought a pure Brownswiss heifer , nice shallow udder & her temperment is by far the quietest cow i have ever milked does not even move a muscle when been milked.
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Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 11:26 AM  

Quote:
Originally posted by Garcola

deep uddered heifers become deep uddered cows.
give me high wide rear udders with firm front udders and decent teat length.
short teats no !!!!!!!!
temperament a must I 100% agree

Absolutely, udders like this have plenty of capacity. FWIW, the pictures I have seen of Glenbrook's cow's udders did not seem to not get too deep. I'm guessing a US shallow udder may not be that different from a Kiwi "large" udder.



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Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 12:08 PM  

Okay I am trying to put a photo here. It says valid pics are jpg and mine is named jpeg as I belive they all are but it doesn't seem to want to accept it. iIam following the instructions in this threadhttp://www.jersey.com.au/cgi-bin/cutecast/cutecast.pl?session=fDmlQhWWsCSjiNs1uL9VW5VVU4&forum=6&thread=391
I'll keep trying.

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Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 12:14 PM  

Okay needed to read all the instructions. Anyway this is a photo of one of my autumn calved cows Glenbrook Chief Cocopop. She calved in March at 4-0 and has produced 2.51ms, 2.47ms and 2.58ms on her three tests so far. I am expecting her to do 700kgs ms all going well. Her top milk weight is 28.5 litres or 65 lbs. I am very happy with her udder.

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Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 01:10 PM  

the biggest thing i like in udders is texture if they are shallowish {not extreme shallow] and have good texture they will hold enough milk and last if the ligament is right. poor textured udders or bad ligaments will see a cow go from my herd before udder depth is a problem , but heifers with udders at their hock don't seem to stay either.
On temperament i fully expect on 90% of my heifers I can put the cups on them 1st or 2nd milking and walk away and get on with milking the other 25 cows in that run. I do use plastic sealed milking units on heifers for the 1st week or so to avoid cups either flooding or falling off if they jiggle a little.They save alot of frustration and expleatives in the dairy


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Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 02:17 PM  

what do you mean plastic sealed Motor?


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Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 @ 10:31 PM  

plastic cups called sealed milking units {SMUs} either blue or light brown in colour sold in a box of 4 they are plastic cups with built in liners about 1/3 the weight of normal cups if a heifer jiggles the cups stay on they have to accurately kick to get them off {then they may break the cup] save me a lot of time in the spring breaking in heifers
I have 4 spare claws with these cups fitted that i use for heifers


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Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 @ 02:59 PM  

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expleatives in the dairy

Well I never. What will those Aussies think of next. Don't think we have those in kiwiland.

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Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 @ 10:41 PM  

Udder texture and ligament is the most critical to me for longevity. You need some capacity for production but dont like them too big as 2yr olds either. Cant stand pretty little shallow udders either, have to earn there keep from day one. Somewhere in the middle will do me just fine! With Glenbrook all the way on good temerament as vital! Great textured udders with small teats are a lot easier to manage than poor textured udder with small teats. We dont really breed for shallow udders but would rarely lose a 2 yr old for having an udder too big.


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Posted Thursday, June 17, 2010 @ 09:17 PM  

this is a great topic, and I have too wondered how often (between countries) we are all describing the same udder. I would be more inclined to call GG's cow shallower, as it is quite level with the bellie.Incorrectly possibley, but when I think of a 'deep udder', I tend to picture one hanging down from the front attachment, and a low rear attachment for that matter, not just a 'big' udder.
My own feeling is that in our herd a shallow udder as a heifer does not often develop in to one of our best cows, not here atleast.Maybe in the Holsteins, I can see much more potential,but not in the Jerseys. I have at the moment atleast two 2nd calvers for which we made excuses for last yr, that are just not pulling their weight this yr, already out gunned by this years 2yr olds. I already have a couple of 2 year olds in the same boat this year, and I really wonder wether to keep them because experience has shown me I'll probably regret it.
I am happy for our cows to peak anywhere between 4 to 7 years of age, and hang around to maybe 9yrs. Our oldest is 13 and she Pi'd 103 as a hfr, and never out of the 90s since.I tend not to think of our operation in terms of per cow values, but more as cow places in the herd to be filled.Had we had a herd of these..would we still be here? I don't know. I don't want a heap of udders like a few of our flowerpowers, silky texture, great lig, but still scrapping the hocks.
I still prefer to see good capacity in a heifers udder though, because I don't have any confidence in a shallow one.

[Edit by Stoned on Thursday, June 17, 2010 @ 09:19 PM]

cowgirl
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Posted Friday, June 18, 2010 @ 02:43 PM  

I agree Stoned, a good topic and your post is a valuable one. I too thought GG's cow looked good. A bill payer. We had a holstien once, with not much visible udder, but gave big litres at herd test. I decided she must have had a well up inside her somewhere, to store all that milk. Then there were the 2 yr olds that had very neat woolly udders that got them very highly classified, but they didn't see out the season, dryed themselves off, exhausted from doing nothing all year. That was the year of the Alf heifers who were down graded because their udders were 'too big' and their teats a bit wider in front, pi'ing 125 or so. They milked up a storm for years. Wonderful cows. I am working on the idea that our cows need to be wide across the pins, hips and thurls to make room for a good width of udder while still being able to walk past their udders without knocking them. Then the udders need to be attached as high as reasonable so there is lots of room for it to be big, yet the floor of the udder remain above the hocks as she ages - gracefully...So, high wide rear udders can be a bit deeper and the cow still be able to last... ? Does all this add up? I don't like udders that break away in front, what causes that.and how do you read a bar graph to select against it?


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Posted Friday, June 18, 2010 @ 05:30 PM  

Cowgirl
what your asking about with fore udders should be covered in fore udder attachment on a bar graph or linea


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Posted Friday, June 18, 2010 @ 06:20 PM  

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but they didn't see out the season, dryed themselves off, exhausted from doing nothing all year

LOL. Funniest line for the year.

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Garcola
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Posted Saturday, June 19, 2010 @ 00:27 AM  

WOW !!!!!!!!!!!

A Victorian making a Kiwi laugh.

AGAIN !!!

That gives me ( a South Aussie ) a chuckle.

[Edit by Garcola on Saturday, June 19, 2010 @ 00:29 AM]

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Sundowner
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Posted Saturday, June 19, 2010 @ 11:26 AM  

When you read the graphs in the semen catalogues, what depth of udder is classed as the zero mark????
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Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 @ 03:47 PM  

GG, What a great looking, shallow uddered cow in the photo. I presume she has just calved for the 3 time.


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Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 @ 09:47 PM  

From the US page for type classification

http://www.usjersey.com/Programs/appraisalstds.htm

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Udder Depth (deep/shallow) is a measure of the depth of udder floor relative to the hock. A score of 1 indicates an udder below the hock, 15 an udder at the hock, 25 an udder 2” above the hock, 35 an udder 4” above the hock, and 50 an udder 7” above the hock.

There used to be illustrations but they don't seem to be avaliable at present.

I reckoned my cow had her udder floor level with her hock and therefore would be considered deep. I think in NZ no cow can be scored Excellent if her udder is below her hock. Cow just calved for second lactation which is the only reason I still have her having sold all inmilk cows at end October last year. She did 762ms in 519 days calving at 1-11 on first lactation.

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Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 @ 10:06 PM  

ok, this is what I think of when for 2yr olds I think....
too shallow

too deep

plain bloody awful

want more of

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Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 12:38 PM  

Stoned, having photos really helps in this discussion. I hope you get lots of comments on these cows. I am still uneducated about the finer points on type, but going on what GG posted, all of your heifers have their udders above their hocks. I would be disappointed in the first one, nowhere to keep the milk. Is this the type of cow some farmers like because they will eventually develop into 'cows that last'? (Her udder won't fall off, but could she survive the herd test cull list??) The "too deep" heifer, I have sold heifers that seemed to have udders too big or 'no quite right' and then met them again as aged cows. They had made their new owner heaps, and their udders remained unchanged. I think Athea's Aerostar was good at siring heifers like that.... "Plain bloody awful" ..she would still pass the udders above the hocks - wouldn't she? She looks like the wooly uddered things that didn't milk much that I had no time for.
The pretty ones are very nice, but I wonder whether or not it is Rear Attachment Height that really helps. I always hated the ones who had the droopy lowslung udder look, always looking like they needed a good hitch up and a set of braces. It was rear att height and width and ligament that they needed. I hope EVERYONE will jump on this and give their opinions, MORE photos would be good. We all need to learn - or at least understand what each of us is talking about. Are we all on the same page at least?


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Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 09:42 PM  

thanks cowgirl, and I agree with you, and maybe I sound a bit 'at any cost', but I've never sat down and actually worked out how many lactations extra does the shallow(if she is lower production) udder have to last to pay back the lost production her herd mates have contributed while she is taking longer to develop.
If you have one like sundowners' and she is out doing the others you are on a winner for sure.But if she is only keeping pace with them....And I also agree I've had some I've expected the udder to fall off every year, but they didn't.Soluke was a classic here for that.We have only had one drop a ligament, a 2 yr Jerrick, and a real milky Astound, which I blame myself for ,for not being more proactive.
Quite probably we aren't all talking about the same udder, because for example we are no where near the top level production herds, nor really do we want to be a such, we'd be more than happy with a 5500+ ltr ave with good components.
PS. saw some really nice Romulus yesterday cowgirl., wonder if WWS are thinking again about collecting him...plenty of demand.Love ours.

[Edit by Stoned on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 @ 09:53 PM]

cowgirl
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Posted Friday, June 25, 2010 @ 00:54 AM  

I currently own one romulus, she will calve in the next week or so and looks very nice. I bought her at Jackiah's sale. The heifers from there have turned out very well. I think there are some on farm challenge prospects amongst them.
Jackiah
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Posted Saturday, June 26, 2010 @ 08:24 PM  

what lot number cowgirl, i didnt sell a jace romulus that i remember
cowgirl
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Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010 @ 02:36 PM  

You are right Jackiah! She was from Lenehans instead, She's pretty enough to be one of yours though.
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