New Inbreeding Tool


Following on from the article by Sue Staples in our Spring Newsletter a helpful aid from AHDB to be launched next month;

A new inbreeding tool has been developed by AHDB Dairy which checks how closely any sire is to another animal in the herd.

The Inbreeding Checker is the first tool in the dairy industry which instantly shows if it is acceptable to use a particular bull and, if so, which specific cows in the herd would be a suitable match. The inbreeding level of any proposed mating is taken from the entire database of dairy sires listed on

“With the quantity of sires now available on the market – and, in particular, with the volume of young genomic sires which are released with every index run – it has become impossible for any breeder to keep up with the variety of pedigrees available,” says Marco Winters, Head of Animal Genetics at AHDB Dairy.

“There is a risk breeders exclude a good bull from their herd because they believe him to be too closely related to many of their cows. Though the inbreeding level produced by using a grandson or great grandson of a bull previously used, may be lower and safer than expected.”

It is also possible to search for historic bulls with straws remaining in the tank, which are no longer listed on the available bull lists, ensuring that excess straws do not go to waste.

“Any matings which result in an inbreeding level of more than 6.25% are best avoided, and the inbreeding Checker can be used to ensure no matings beyond this level are made. It will help you to choose bulls which have genuine outcross pedigrees in relation to their own cows.”

The inbreeding Checker will be available through the website from 4th July and at The Livestock Event (6-7 July 2016), held at the NEC, Birmingham, where it will be demonstrated on the AHDB Stand. Registered users of the Herd Genetic Report will be able to come along to the stand, log into their Herd Genetic Report and try out the online tool. If you do not yet have a Herd Genetic Report, this can be set up for you on the stand, or in advance by emailing with your trading name, address and milk recording number.

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