Spa treatment for ladies' man
New Zealand's top ranked breeding bull, Howies Checkpoint, enjoyed a full spa treatment before strutting his stuff at Hamilton-based co-operative LIC's premier sires breeders' day in Hamilton this week.
The country's number one artificial breeding sire was buffed to perfection for his starring role. LIC's premier sires product manager Mike Wilson said the bull seemed to enjoy the attention, including a power-shower, ear trim and pedicure, before parading in front of hundreds of people, including some of the country's top bull breeders.
LIC's Breeders Day recognises the contribution of breeders around the country to creating an elite band of bulls to improve the genetics of New Zealand's dairy herd, Wilson said.
Checkpoint was among more than 20 bulls from LIC's 2011-12 premier sires teams to meet the breeders and families, who travelled from around the country for the special day.
"Premier sires bulls are responsible for siring three out of four dairy cows in New Zealand – contributing around $300 million each year to the economy, or more than $17 billion since LIC began artificial breeding," Wilson said.
He said Premier sires account for more than 70 per cent of all the New Zealand dairy industry artificial inseminations, producing "the next generation of high genetic merit, high performing dairy animals.
"With the dairy industry accounting for somewhere in the region of 40 per cent of New Zealand's GDP [gross domestic product], our premier sires breeders make a real difference not only to dairy farmers throughout the country but the country as a whole."