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With several of our vets trained to carry out CLARIFIDE genomic testing we can assist you to be more proactive when selecting replacements for your herd.

Penbode Farm Vets are pleased to announce that Phil Leighton BVM&S MRCVS, Andy Stokes BVSc CertAVP(Cattle) MRCVS and Tamsin Harris-Bryant BVetMed Cert CHP MRCVS. RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Cattle Health and Production are now qualified to offer CLARIFIDE genomic testing to dairy farmers in Devon and Cornwall. CLARIFIDE has ben developed by Zoetis and used extensively across the world.

Genomic testing is changing the way dairy farmers make management, selection and breeding decisions on farm. To date, the major focus of genomic testing has been the benefit in identifying high quality young bulls early. However, the ability to use the exact same power of prediction for female young stock is now a cost effective management tool for any dairy farmer.

CLARIFIDE genomic testing works by improving the reliability of composite and individual heifer predicted transmitting abilities, from approximately 25% (based on parent averages), to a much higher 60-70%.

The Clarifide package allows you to work with your vets to discover the current strengths and weaknesses of your herd’s genetic profile and then to determine which genetic traits are most important to improving the future profitability of your animals. The Clarifide test then reveals early in life which heifers have those desirable genetic traits, allowing you to make the most of them, whilst also making sure that you aren’t wasting time and money breeding replacements from those not likely to perform the way you want them to.

Overall, this means genetic progress can be accelerated with confidence and your herd profitability enhanced by capitalizing on improved performance across a number of traits.

The Short Term Benefits of Genomic Testing

Increase use of sexed semen

  • More heifers to choose from

  • Sale of surplus heifers

  • Targeted expansion using ‘better’ heifers

  • Fewer calving issues

  • Fewer dairy bull calves

  • May have milk contract implications

Improve Heifer Inventory Management

  • Reduce rearing costs

  • Better choice of replacements

  • Reduced stocking density

  • Decrease disease levels

Increase use of beef semen

  • Improve profitability of calf sales

  • Increase shed space

  • Business diversification option

The Long Term Benefits of Genomic Testing

  • Targeted, evidence-based genetic improvement

  • Permanent, cumulative, cost-effective improvement in productivity and profitability across multiple areas

  • Allows rapid decision making maximising speed of genetic progress compared to traditional breeding methods

  • Linked to herd health issues

  • Flexibility of bespoke index allows targeting of multiple areas to improve simultaneously

  • Ensure alignment with milk buyers

Link to advanced breeding options ET/OPU/IVF

  • Opportunity to amplify the genetics of top-end heifers to increase rate of genetic progress on the farm

  • Use lower genetic merit animals as recipients for ET/IVF procedures

Testing is conducted on a hair sample and is available for Holstein, British Freisian, Guernsey, Jersey Ayrshire and Brown Swiss heifers. The recommended testing age is from 0-12 months.

Samples are submitted for the core selection index (PLI), as well as production, type, health, management and fitness traits. Parentage confirmation and actual/future inbreeding figures are returned. Genetic recessive conditions and haplotypes that can cause significant losses are also included.

This reliable and excellent NEW service ensures that maximum return from investment in genomic testing is achieved. We can align the genomic testing with herd health goals to rapidly maximise yours herd's potential.

What we'll do

1.       Before testing one of our two CLARIFIDE trained vets will visit you to appraise your herd’s current genetic base. To do so, we need your authorisation to access your genetic report from the AHDB.

2.       We will then discuss your goals for your herd and your business and put in place the breeding objectives specific to the farm.

3.       We will then take you through what CLARIFIDE can do for you and what it would cost. Pricing is tailored per farm based on a charge per head of heifers tested + a monthly consultancy charge.

4.       The first set of samples will be taken by our CLARIFIDE trained vets who will also analyse the data on its return from the US laboratory. Subsequent tests can be taken by our Suitably Qualified Persons (SQPs or Vet Techs).

5.       Samples are sent to the lab for testing and results are returned in 6-8 weeks.

6.       Our CLARIFIDE trained vets will then analyse the data and rank the animals based on the previously agreed ranking that is bespoke to your farm. Focusing on those areas where an improvement through breeding would help to improve your herd’s performance and productivity.

7.       The results are then presented in an easy to understand format so that the predefined action plan can be implemented easily.

Call your nearest Penbode Farm Vets practice to schedule an appointment or speak to your vet at your next visit.

All about Clarifide

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