SPRING VALLEY, Wis. – Seven will be the lucky number for one kid this holiday season.
A five-month-old calf named Honeycrest Bolton Seven is this year’s childrens prize in the Dairy Star and ABS Global Great Christmas Heifer Calf Giveaway.
Owner, Bob Traynor, said Seven has a lot of potential.
“With her maternal and paternal pedigree, I think she could be something special,” Traynor said about the Bolton daughter.
With her good type – a strong front end and correct feet and legs – along with a vigorous appetite, this calf will be more than lucky.
“She’s an eater and a nice aggressive calf that will be an easy keeper and will be easy to breed from. It runs in her family,” said Traynor, who suggests the new owner have the calf genomic tested because of her pedigree.
Seven is out of a Die-Hard daughter that is scored GP-80 and made nearly 26,000 pounds of milk in her first lactation. The Die-Hard has six maternal brothers awaiting proofs and one maternal Bolton sister scored VG-85 that made almost 29,000 her first lactation with five A.I. contracts.
Seven’s granddam is a Dam of Merit O-man daughter that made over 34,000 pounds of milk in her second lactation and is scored VG-85. Behind her are four more generations of cows that have become Gold Medal Dams, Dams of Merit and are scored Very Good or Excellent. Seven’s name even signifies her lineage – the seventh generation in the Honeycrest Blkstar Kathryn family.
“The family is scattered all over the upper Midwest and they seem to do the same for everyone – they make 30,000 pounds of milk easily and generally score Very Good or Excellent,” Traynor said. “They’re profitable cows. They like to eat and they’re hardy.”
Traynor keeps a breeding philosophy that focuses on creating cows that are profitable, high in production and are able to transmit well, creating strong cow families.
“Having numerous generations of Gold Medal Dams is more important than numerous generations Excellent or show winners. Gold Medal Dams spread families sideways rather than up and down,” Traynor said.
Although Traynor said they don’t breed for show ring cows, type is still a factor in his breeding decisions.
“Life’s too short to milk ugly cows,” he said.
Other traits Traynor watches while breeding are daughter pregnancy rate, somatic cell count and calving ease.
Three of Traynors favorite bulls have been Inspiration, Durham and Talent. Traynor’s breeding philosophy has helped his herd achieve a rolling herd average of 24,500 pounds and a BAA of 107. Traynor has also sold 99 bulls to A.I. studs and exported embryos to nine countries, including Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan.
Traynor farms with his wife, Kathy, brothers, Dick and Larry, and their wives Dar and Linda, and nephew, Jeremiah, and his wife, Rachel, in Spring Valley, Wis., on Honeycrest Farms Inc. Dick and Dar’s son-in-law Steve Hanson works as an employee along with Lori Schutz-Guilds.
The Traynors farm 1,700 acres and milk 120 cows in a double-six herringbone parlor twice a day. The cows are housed in a tiestall barn.
Working with the herd of registered Holsteins has always been Traynor’s role and interest on the farm.
“Genetics – that’s what gets me up in the morning,” Traynor said about his favorite part of dairying.
And when the genetics of Traynor’s cows are successful for other people, Traynor said that makes him happy.
Traynor hopes Seven will be successful and the lucky number for one kid in the area.