This is one amazing dairy cow. Her name is Murribrook Lieutenant Tina 2EX and she is a superb example of a Holstein dairy cow.
Tina is 16 years old and has had 12 calves and has just gone into the resting paddock waiting to have her thirteenth calf.
In her lifetime she has produced a whopping 153000 litres of milk. That means Tina provides 1500 Australians with milk each year
Up until recently Tina has always taken pride of place leading the cows to and from the dairy. She has this knack of knowing when milking is due and lines up at the paddock gate to notify the herd its times to walk back to the dairy.
Wise dairy farmers select and breed from cows who have a number of qualities that ensure healthy and contented cows.
These qualities include:
- compact udders that allow cows to carry their milk comfortably
- good “feet and legs” which help them to walk comfortably. This is very important on our farm as we milk three times daily and our cows walk a lot. For more info see previous post “ when too much walking is not a good thing “
- Feed conversion efficiency. The aim here is to breed cows who can turn grass into milk as efficiently as possible. This has a number of advantages including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and all livestock owners know how important that is. Our cows have a feed conversion efficiency rating of 2.7 which is very high. This means they can turn 1kg of feed into 2.7 litres of milk which means not only high productivity but little eco footprints
There is lots of science to cow breeding and genes that deliver these qualities have all been identified through genomic mapping
A mature cow like Tina is a product of both her genes (15% genetics) and how she was raised (85% environmental influences)
Tina is a great example of this proven science. Tina is a direct descendent of a very famous imported cow called Walkerbrae Triple T Toni, Ex 24*. Toni was imported by Murray Sowter .
How gorgeous is she and how much does Tina look like her.
Murray was involved in the first live exports from Canada. See his website here http://www.murribrook.com/cow-families/toni.html
We are very pleased to have a number of Tina’s decedents in our herd such as Lightening Tina who is her granddaughter and just about to have a calf of her own
Lightening Tina – Tina’s granddaughter they are all peas in pod
These days Lieutenant Tina has a life of luxury. She lives in a paddock close to the dairy and doesn’t have to walk very far to access water and shade. She is just adorable and she has a special place in our hearts.
Read about Tina in the Illawarra Mercury here