You've reached the Virginia Cooperative Extension Newsletter Archive. These files cover more than ten years of newsletters posted on our old website (through April/May 2009), and are provided for historical purposes only. As such, they may contain out-of-date references and broken links.

To see our latest newsletters and current information, visit our website at

Newsletter Archive index:

Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

DHI Offers New Reports To Check ID On Cows And Heifers

Dairy Pipeline: March 2008

Bennet Cassell, Extension Dairy Scientist, Genetics & Management
(540) 231-4762,

Dairy producers on DHI test now have access to two new reports to locate identification problems in cows and heifers. The reports are DHI-570 “Heifer calf ID check list” and DHI 575 “Cow ID check list”. There is no charge for the reports, and they can be run on request, at each test day. Printed copies of the reports will be mailed to the farm.

The idea is to use the reports to find problems and to correct those records if accurate information is available. Please don’t guess at sire or dam ID. No ID is better than wrong ID.

After the initial corrections, a periodic check about once a year should be sufficient. New ID problems would be most likely in heifers. One of the major reasons DRMS Raleigh developed these reports is because of ID problems with sires of the European dairy breeds such as Montebéliarde and Swedish Reds. If your herd includes some of these animals, odds are that ID is incorrect, particularly if you followed procedures that I relayed to you just a few months ago!

Service sires from the European dairy breeds should be recorded using two character breed codes such as SR for Swedish Red. The most reliable way to enter the sire ID is to use registration number, as there may still be problems with the various NAAB sire codes on the European dairy breeds. For instance, the sire ID for the SR bull Peterslund is SWE*91213. Our first SR-cross to calve is identified successfully with this code. She received her first USDA cow PTA’s in the January 2008 run.

Ask the DHI field service technician for lists of sire ID’s on European dairy breeds or contact me for a copy. I encourage you to use these new reports, especially if you have used any of the European dairy breeds. The genetic evaluations you will receive (through PCDART) are useful for within herd management decisions. Accurate and complete ID’s are essential if we are to track performance of these breeds under our management conditions.


Visit Virginia Cooperative Extension