The following year, when these cows calve, LIC representatives go to the farms and inspect the bull calves.
Provided these three month old calves meet:
- strict conformation requirements
- disease testing
- genetic defect testing
- confirmation of their parentage
The calves are purchased and transported to LIC's farms where they are raised. Around 400 bull calves are purchased each year.
These young calves spend their first year of life eating and growing. They are also trained to wear a halter and allow themselves to be led and handled. Over the year some are discarded from the team through a number of factors, like temperament , a change in the Breeding Worth of their parents, or failing health tests.
The makeup of the final 300 yearlings to be progeny tested reflects farmer demand for the various breeds - 150 Holstein Friesians (black and white), 90 Jerseys and 60 KiwiCross™ (a mix (crossbred) of the popular breeds Holstein Friesian, Jersey, Ayrshire). Semen is taken from these young bulls and sent to LIC's 700 Sire Proving Herds.