It is the first time that this exceptional achievement has been achieved on a Dutch dairy farm. The hundredth hundred-tonner in the Knoef’s herd is called Big Betje 287 and achieved a lifetime production of 101,662 kg of milk with 3.85% fat and 3.69% protein in 2329 days. That amounts to an average of 43.7 kg of milk per day. Betje (Big Winner x Big Spell x Laurenzo), has a classification score of 87 points and still managed to produce almost 45 kg of milk at the last MPR.
Breeding for production and conformation
The family says that care, feeding, housing and breeding all contribute to this exceptional result. “We only select after heifers have calved for the first time. Only if a heifer meets the criteria that mean she could potentially become a hundred-tonner is she allowed to stay,” says Jos Knoef. “Legs, good udders and a good croup structure all play a part and, in recent years, so do the genomic breeding values for udder health and production. We breed for production and we also like good-looking cows. When it comes to selecting a sire, we also pay attention to persistency and late maturity,” says the breeder.
Of the one hundred hundred-tonners in the Knoef family’s herd, most (13) came from the Boukje family and eleven were excellent. To date, 29 have also passed the 10,000 kg fat and protein milestone. Two cows even achieved a lifetime milk production of over 200,000 kg: Big Boukje 192 (sire: Cash) and Big Clara 123 (sire: Win 395).
Sunny Boy the most influential
The Knoef family’s hundred one hundred-tonners had a total of 63 different sires. With eight daughters, Sunny Boy was the most influential. Lord Lily accounted for five cows, each of which achieved a lifetime production of more than 100,000 kg of milk, while F 16 and Jabot sired four each. Five bulls sired three one hundred-tonners: Win 395, Stadel, Shogun, Laurenzo and the homebred Big Winner.