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Master Breeder 2016 Profile: Meadowbloom Holsteins
February 28, 2017

In April, Holstein Canada will honor the recipients of the Master Breeder Award for 2016. One herd being honored is the Leis family of Meadowbloom Holsteins of Elmwood, ON, with their first shield. Read more about Meadowbloom Holsteins here.Read more Cowsmo Master Breeder profiles on Cowsmo!

Meadowbloom Holsteins

The Leis family of Meadowbloom

Receiving their first Master Breeder Shield is Meadowbloom Holsteins of Elmwood, ON is owned and operated by Paul & Marilyn Leis, along with their two children, Brandon and Kristen.

The Leis family currently is milking 55 cows, and have 40 heifers and 8 calves in their herd. The cows are housed in a sand-bedded freestall barn, and milked with a DeLaval robot. They feed a TMR which consists of corn silage, haylage, dry corn with some mixed grain and a protein supplement. The herd’s production is at 97363M 383F 315P, and has 11 Multiple EX cows, 6 EX, 24VG and 12 GP.

MasterBreeder16_Meadowbloom_20170118_184259[1326]They farm 250 acres, on which they grow crops for hay/haylage, soybeans, winter wheat, mixed grain, dry corn and corn silage to feed the herd; robot pellets and protein supplement are the only purchased feeds.

MasterBreeder16_Meadowbloom_1461715094372They are continually working to improve their facilities, and in the 26 years they have been on their present farm, they have removed existing stanchions from the original barn and put in tie-ups; renovated the heifer area and made an addition to house dry cows. They have also built a facility for hay storage and put up a haylage silo as well. They added two, 50-acre parcels of land to their farm, and most recently, they have built the new freestall robot barn in 2016.

MasterBreeder16_Meadowbloom_20170110_081741[1324]When they started farming, achieving a Master Breeder Shield was not an original goal. Instead, they strove ot improve their herd through selective mating, working to develop each individual cow, all while maintaining a homebred herd. They don’t rely heavily on flushing to build their herd, only flushing a couple of cows 12 years ago.

There are three cow families that rise to the top in influence in their herd, and all descend from homebred cows. These include families of: Meadowbloom Astre Patsy VG86 (HFOCANF6307660), Meadowbloom Astre Reta VG86 (HOCANF6106180) and Meadowbloom Rubens Gem EX90-2E (HOCANF9332367).

They note that Astre Patsy contributed great udder quality, excelling in texture and strong attachments, while Astre Reta produced well balanced cows, with high, wide rear udders. The offspring of Gem typically were high producers and sound functional type.

Meadowbloom Dempsey Sally

Meadowbloom Dempsey Sally EX90, a descendant of Astre Reta

The sires that have worked well in their herd in the past include Broker, Astre, Storm and Rubens. More recently, they are having success with their daughters of Talent, Sanchez and Dempsey. Currently, their service sires include bulls such as Gold Chip, Dempsey, Kingboy, Epic and Mogul.

The first thing that they look for in regards to selecting bulls is good quality udders, followed by strong loins, good thurl placement and strong health traits.

Over the years, very little has changed in regards to the Leis’ breeding philosophy. They continue, as always, to work hard at developing and maintaining an emphasis on true-type cows, that last for many lactations. Their goal is to develop each cow to her full potential, and they note that most of their Master Breeder points came from cows with longtime production.

Meadowbloom Windbrook Tulip

Meadowbloom Windbrook Tulip EX91-92MS, a descendant of Astre Patsy

The Leis family feels that their greatest accomplishment has been being able to grow and build their farming operation into a business that will allow the next generation to become involved. They continue to look for ways to improve and learn.

Feeling that they had reached a plateau in development in the old barn prompted the decision to build the new barn and transition to robotics. They have been rewarded, seeing easily how well the cows are doing in the new facility. They feel that the new barn will help each cow express her full genetic potential, while allowing their attention to detail, and their dedication to their cows to grow as well, continuing to learn and grown their family business for the future.

 

 



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