Effective breeding programmes

Dairy cattle breeding

With 650 bulls subjects to progeny testing and 25 000 genomic
analyses, French selective breeding schemes rank among world
leaders. The results are outstanding: the average equivalent adult
lactation of the herd evaluated for milk production stands
at 9,797 kg. The figure is 10,751 kg for Prim’Holstein.

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Beef breeds selection

France is developing effective selection programs for nine beef breeds, specialized or hardy. For the 3 main races, on-farm and on-station individual evaluation is complemented by young bulls progeny testing programs on a scale unique in the world. Besides beefing abilities, these evaluations take also maternal qualities in account.

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Dairy goats breeds selection

The 820 000 high genetic merit goats of the national herd make France one of the world leaders for goat milk production. Its 1,100 best females achieve exceptional performances with an average recorded lactation in excess of 1,200 kg per year. The 283,000 French goats entered in the official national milk recording scheme reach an average lactation of 834 and 812 liters.

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Meat sheep breeds selection

Breeding programs are distinguished by the rigor of the on-station evaluation and then progeny testing, both for the meat abilities and the maternal qualities (prolificacy, milk value). With genomic selection, there is not a single ram from farms in the breed selection population carrying the VRQ scrapie hypersensitivity allele and over 95% of them are scrapie-resistant (ARR/ARR genotype)

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Dairy sheep breeds selection

The effectiveness of breeding programs is resulting in significant genetic progress for the five breed concerned. In the Lacaune breed, the milk index rams earns on average 5.5 liters per year, with an increase also significant for the index of contents and functional abilities. The results of milk recording system confirm their operational impact.

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Key figures

  • 51 breeds under selection programs
  • 82 770 farms under oficial performance recording
  • 4,7 millions cows, sheeps and goats under oficial performance recording
  • 8700 bulls, rams and billy goats with individual on-station testing
  • 2000 bulls, rams and billy goats with progeny testing