The importance of breeding cows of good conformation has never been greater, as modern production systems impose stringent demands on the dairy cow. Both milk buyers and the general public find conformation defects increasingly unacceptable and dairy farmers themselves are becoming more aware that cows of better type produce more easily and for longer.
The Type Classification programme accentuates economically important conformation traits that influence a cow's ability to withstand modern production and management practices.
The modern dairy cow needs good functional traits: a well-supported udder with strong central ligament, correctly set legs with good foot angle and the general constitution to cope with life on a modern dairy farm.
The service offers its users two key advantages:
- It provides an independent assessment of every cow in the herd.
- It provides a final score for the your heifers and cows, which can substantially increase their value.
The system is appropriate to every type of farming system and currently evaluates over 100,000 animals every year.
NBDC classifiers operate an internationally recognised appraisal system which is used by the AI industry in the British Isles to provide reliable type proofs.
The system has two basic components:
Linear assessment involves the measurement of 21 individual traits on a scale of 1-9, describing the degree of the trait rather than its desirability. The traits are as follows:
|Body Conformation (15%)||Stature|
|Dairy Strength (15%)||Chest Width|
|Legs & Feet (30%)||Rear Legs, Side View|
|Rear Leg, Rear View|
|Mammary (40%)||Fore Attachment|
|Rear Udder Height|
|Rear Udder Width|
|Front Teat Placment|
|Rear Teat Placement|
For further infromation please view the Guide to Type Classification
Classification involves the appraisal of an animals in comparison to the ideal. An overall score and grade are awarded, according to the following scale:
|Final Linear Score||Final Grade|
|85-89||Very Good (VG)|
|80-84||Good Plus (GP)|
A similar score and grade are awarded to each of the four areas of the cow – body conformation, dairy character, legs & feet and mammary – and it is from each of these four assessments that the final score and grade is calculated.
The NBDC Classification Team assess 18 breeds of cattle across the UK and Channel Islands. The below table shows all the breeds currently participating in the Type Classification Scheme. If you are interested in classifiying you herd please use the contact numbers at the bottom of the page.
|Dairy Breeds||Beef Breeds|
|Dairy Shorthorn||Irish Moiled|
|Jersey Island||Welsh Black|
There are several forms of the service, one to suit each breed – Ayrshire, British Friesian, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Shorthorn. In each case, the service offers the potential to substantially increase the value of your herd and for some, opens up services such as:
If you would like further information or to book an appointment, for Ayrshires, please call the Ayrshire Society and NBDC for all other breeds:
THE BREEDING TOOLBOX LINKS
The Breeding Toolbox encorporates useful tools to aid with informed breeding decisions. Capitilising on years of experience within the industry, these NBDC tools have been designed to aid with the increased efficiency of day to day on farm activities. These tools encompass elements of management, education, breeding and benchmarking, resulting in a rounded support package for users.
Please click on the links below to explore each of the breeding tools.