Breeding Info

 A vast array of breeding information is available to the modern farmer.



Cattle breeding data can be divided into two distinct categories, phenotypic and genetic.

Phenotypic datasuch as classification and milk records, should be used to inform management decisions such as culling, feeding and general husbandry. For example, a high yielding, low SCC, trouble free cow, regardless of its genetic merit is worth keeping on the farm as an efficient milk producer. Phenotypes therefore tell us about actual dairy performance.

Genetic evaluation data, also known as PTA, should be used to make breeding decisions such as choosing mating sires. Genotypes tell us about potential performance in the average UK dairy herd environment. The best breeding animals can be more accurately identified by using genetic data rather than phenotypes, as the effects of different management, such as feeding for example, are taken into account in PTA.



In order to make best use of phenotypes and genetics, NBDC offers breeders a suite of breeding software applications within the Breeding Toolbox. 

  • - Use Virtual Cow to understand the basics of type classification in dairy cattle,
  • - View and analyse your herds classification results in Class Act,
  • - Use Bull Selector to find suitable mating sires,
  • - Run virtual matings in Webmate for females in your herd to identify the best sire for each cow.

Please click on the links below to explore each of the breeding tools.