CRV offers sires from the Belgian Blue Group (BBG). BBG is the world leader in Belgian Blue semen. CRV has selected a sire called ‘Elk 41’ from the BBG specifically for his short gestation length and calving ease qualities. This Belgian Blue also provides easily identifiable colour markings, together with exceptional growth/muscle development through the breed’s double muscling gene and fineness of bones, ultimately resulting in greater carcass yields.
BBG export manager Simon Noppen says the size of the Belgian Blues comes from the breed’s double muscle gene, which is completely natural and the result of a focus on producing meat.
“BBG breeds dairy beef semen first and foremost for calving ease. Gestation length is also a key trait as is fertility, growth and meat quality.
“An Irish study has shown that a Belgian Blue cross animal produces more meat from the same duration of feeding. BBG also offers Polled Blues too, which are popular with farmers wanting to avoid the time and cost of disbudding calves.”
BBG runs three artificial insemination studs in Belgium with more than 100 grass-fed Blue sires. Belgian Blue semen used for dairy beef is the company’s most successful business. They export semen worldwide to more than 55 countries in every continent.
BBG has a strict breeding programme to ensure the best beef bulls are selected for dairy and have been thoroughly tested to avoid any calving issues.
Each young Belgian Blue bull is used to inseminate between 1500-2000 straws into dairy cows. From these matings, BBG gathers reliable breeding data it can use to evaluate sires for traits such as calving ease, gestation length and birth weight.