Spring Calving Index £SCI
The Spring Calving Index (£SCI) is an across-breed genetic ranking index developed to breed cows that produce lower volumes of milk of a higher quality. It’s specifically for spring block-calving herds, which rely heavily on grazed grass and calve in a tight (12 weeks or less) block.
This index is expressed as a financial value and represents the additional profit a high £SCI bull is expected to return from each of its milking daughters over her lifetime compared with an average bull of zero £SCI.
Both the £SCI and £ACI Indexes emphasise important genetic areas are maintained or improved, e.g. fertility (calving interval and non-return rate), somatic cell count (SCC) and milk solids. While increased emphasis on the maintenance cost by reducing cow liveweight will give the daughters of high £SCI bulls improved efficiency suited to a spring-calving, grazing-based system.
As an across-breed index, you can use it to compare bulls of different breeds.
- Promotes milk quality rather than volume
- Places strong emphasis on fertility
- Selects for reduced maintenance cost
- Improves udder and leg health
- Places strong emphasis on longevity
- Promotes easier calving
- Protects functional type – Feet and Legs and Udders
The pie chart below shows the breakdown of the individual weightings of traits in the £SCI.
Four simple steps when selecting the right bulls for your breeding programme:
- Select £SCI bulls with a higher value than your best cow
- Select fitness traits to maintain your strengths and address herd weaknesses (Fertility, Lifespan etc)
- Match type to suit your herd
- Selected calving ease for maiden heifers