Milk and Butterfat Recording
If Herd book activities are the raison d'Ítre of any breeders' society then Milk-recording is the backbone of breeding dairy cattle. The founding fathers of ICBA recognized the importance of complete and reliable data on the production of each cow every year. More than one genetic theory has evolved over time, triggering changes in breeding methods every so often, but always relying on the hard facts as they emerge from regular monthly milk-recording.

               
BALADI COW SYRIAN COWDUTCH COW
In the early days of dairy cattle breeding in Israel, selection took two paths concomitantly: one in search of the superior breed to be continued, either purebred or for outcrossing common breeds; the other by selecting outstanding brood cows for the perpetuation of desirable characteristics, besides high yields of milk and butterfat. The following tables are intended to shed some light on the subject.


Results of Milk Recording 1929/ 30, according to breeds.

Breed
    Cows
    no.
    Age
    yrs
   Days
    in
   milk
    Milk
    kg
    Fat
    %
   Fat
    kg
   Milk
    kg/d
       Part of
   population
       %
Local (Baladi)
Syrian (Shami)
Crosses, undefined
Dutch x Baladi
Dutch x Syrian
Baladi x Syrian
Dutch
39
88
53
34
90
19
13
8.4
8.0
4.8
3.7
3.0
5.1
4.1
213
268
289
268
272
234
342
1266
2820
2748
1924
2962
1256
4217
4.11
3.95
3.89
4.05
3.65
4.30
3.30
52
113
107
78
108
54
139
5.9
10.7
9.5
6.7
10.9
5.4
12.3
11.6
26.2
15.8
10.1
26.7
5.7
3.9
336 5.5 269 2541 3.86 98 9.5 100.0

From 1934 onwards, milk-recording in Israel gained increasing popularity as made evident by the following table. The immediate and long-term advantages of regular milk-recording have always been enjoyed by all the Kibbutz herds, while many family farms of the Moshav type discovered only in later years the economy of knowing every single cow's production.


Comparison of selected brood cows to population average (1935).
CowsAve. annual yieldAve. daily yield
no. Milk, kg Fat, kg Fat % Milk , kg Fat, gr
All milk-recorded cows
Selected brood cows
Highest yielding herd (Ginegar)
1424
  327
   64
3916
4790
4485
 145
 175
 177
3.70
3.65
3.95
  13.3
  16.3
  15.2
  492
  595
  600

In 1984, ICBA erected the Central Laboratory for MiIk-recording, fitted with the most advanced testing equipment. The overall computerization of milk-recording and testing yields a continuous stream of pertinent data, readily available for Herdbook work, in general, and for the perfecting of breeding plans and progeny tests, in particular.


The Central Laboratory for Milk-recording is capable of testing for fat, protein, lactose and somatic cell count the monthly milk samples from all cows in the national herd. In fact, there is a constant growth in the number of dairy farmers participating in the milk-recording scheme and Israel-Holstein Herdbook. Due to its high standard of performance, ICBA's Central Laboratory serves also as a referential laboratory, according to which similar equipment located in commercial dairy plants is being checked and recalibrate, whenever necessary. Periodical "ring-tests" involving all major dairies have become the accepted rule.

Milk Recording in Israel


*Moshav = Cooperative of small holders with family-owned herds, inclusive of ag. schools.

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