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Powerhouse MAEBULL retires after breeding more than 4500 milking daughters

Jul 5, 2024

Calivil dairy farmer Craig Lister, who imported MAEBULL from the US as an embryo.

One of the Australia’s best known and most reliable bulls, MAEBULL, has been retired from active service.

Genetics Australia Holstein Calister MAEBULL leaves with more than 4500 milking daughters and many thousands more in non-herd-tested herds.

He was recently retired from Genetics Australia just short of his 12th birthday.

MAEBULL was the oldest bull on centre and was one of the last bulls relocated from Parwan Park to the Glenormiston quarantine property following the purchase of TLG in 2021.

Selected for progeny testing in 2013, MAEBULL has forged a career both in Australia and internationally as a reliable bull leaving a consistent group of daughters known for their health and management traits.

Genetics Australia CEO Anthony Shelly said MAEBULL was lucky to have been selected to be progeny tested.

“When we selected our teams in 2013, it was still in the early days of genomic testing and our bulls were primarily selected on genomics. MAEBULL was the lowest bull in the team and we debated whether to proceed with him,” Mr Shelly said.

“However, we liked his cow family and felt he offered something different in our team at the time so decided to proceed with him. We’re pleased that we did. He ended up graduating with flying colures and outlasted all the other bulls selected at the time.

Mr Shelly said not only was Genetics Australia pleased with the decision, so were many farmers in Australia and overseas with MAEBULL rating 99 per cent reliable for most traits.

He has daughters milking in New Zealand and the first of his daughters are now calving in Pakistan where he has been used for heat stress given his 104 ABV for Heat Tolerance. “He puts a great foundation in herds and his black medium statured daughters with high daughter fertility and low cell count are some of the reasons farmers go back and use him again and again,” Mr Shelly said.

MAEBULL was purchased from Calister Holsteins in Calivil in Northern Victoria after coming in as an embryo imported from the USA by Craig Lister.

“I had a lot of faith in the Lead Mae cow family that he came from,” Mr Lister said. “It was one of the families I had long admired so when it was cost effective to import embryos, it was one that I targeted.

“In this game, you get used to bulls not turning out quite as well as you’d hoped but you get surprised by others,” Mr Lister said. “MAEBULL turned out to be one who surprised us pleasantly.”

Calister Holsteins has many MAEBULL daughters in his herd. “I judge him by the performance of his daughters,” Mr Lister said. “He made robust, functional cows with all the health traits that are required for a modern dairy cow.

“He epitomises our breeding goal. I have a lot of MAEBULL daughters to attest to my faith in him. His eldest daughter is classified Excellent and is still going well.”

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