Our fourth and final profile for the Canadian Cow of the Year Contest is Hendercroft Lheros Gumball EX-96 6E 25*. Gumball is an extraordinary brood cow whose ability to transmit her best features to the next generations make her nomination for Cow of the Year a ‘no-brainer’.
Gumball is bred and owned by Hendercroft Holsteins, a Master Breeder herd from Ashton, ON, located 30 minutes
southeast of Ottawa. Backed by four generations of VG dams, Gumball is currently 15 years old and enjoying her retirement at Hendercroft. “After 80,000 kgs of milk and 8 lactations, we decided to strictly flush her,” says Chad Henderson, “she has two Gold Chip daughters that are recently fresh and one Doorman daughter due in June – those are the last of her non-lactating daughters.”
Her daughters definitely tell the story of Gumball’s ability to transmit! She currently has 13 EX, 7 VG and 1 GP daughter, as well as 5 EX and 9 VG granddaughters to date. Of her EX daughters, 11 are multiple EX and three have Superior Lactations awards. Gumball’s daughters average over 11,000 kgs of milk with a 4.2% fat test. All of the EX daughters have scored 90 or higher for Mammary System (avg EX-91) and they average EX-92 for Dairy Strength. Over the years there have been seven Gumball daughters who won classes at the Carleton County show including 4 Champions, 1 Honorable Mention and 1 Junior Champion, and Gumball herself was Grand at Carleton on two occasions.
Gumball and her daughter Hendercroft Fever Bazooka made history last year, becoming the first dam and daughter to score EX-96 in the country! Bazooka had an impressive show season in 2018 and anchored the Hendercroft Breeder’s Herd that placed 2ndat the Royal Winter Fair, earning them an All-Canadian nomination in the category.
“I think the most special part of the Gumball family is just how complete of a cow she is and how complete her daughters are,” says Chad. “They all milk well, have high components, can show, last long and breed true.” Gumball has transmitted a consistent pattern of dairy strength that includes wide chests and strong loins, and tremendous mammary systems with well attached fore udders and high, wide rear udders, traits the Henderson’s believe set Gumball apart in the breed. Longevity is also well built-in to the family, with three daughters in their sixth lactation, five daughters in their fifth lactation, and 4 daughters in their fourth lactation. Additionally, many other daughters are bred back or due to calve into their third and fourth lactations this year.
Gumball’s easy demeanor has made her a pleasure for the Henderson family. Chad says, “she’s quiet, but we’ve never had a cow with an appetite quite like hers!” He adds, “she is still usually the first one at the feed bunk and will often be the only cow out at the round bale feeder even when the weather is bad, and the other dry cows are huddled under the shelter.”
The Henderson’s are extremely proud to have Gumball nominated for this year’s Cow of the Year contest, especially since they only milk 55 cows and had very few registered purebred animals 30 years ago. It is clear that the Gumball family has made a tremendous impact on the herd and will continue to do so for generations to come.