GAEC Droulez : Genetic Investment

Managed by Christophe and François Droulez, the GAEC Droulez displays today excellent results that are the fruits of a true investment in modern genetics, thanks to genomics and sexed semen. With a 100% Genes Diffusion genetics, the breeding farm takes an important place in the agricultural landscape of northern France.

Based in the North of France, the Avesnes Aubert, GAEC Droulez is managed by two sons – Christophe, installed in 1989 with his father and François, the younger brother who joined the family team in 1998 after the retirement of his parents. At the head of a herd of fifty holstein cows, Droulez brothers are also selling flowers in the spring, which has the effect - not to foresee any calving at this time of the year.

Christophe (left) and François DroulezEven if François and Christophe consult each other regularly on the right way to undertake, it is mainly the younger of the two brothers who manages the farm when the older one deals more specifically food and culture. So it is François who has responsibility for the proper conduct of the herd and its genetic renewal. For this, he benefits from the technical support of Mickaël FIEVET, the genetic technician of CIA Genes Diffusion.

Followers of Genes Diffusion genetics, brothers Droulez define themselves primarily as diary producers in their own right. « This is still our first job » they say. Focused primarily on the production of milk, they have recently tightened their goals and they pay a special attention to management traits. Still sensitive to the "beautiful cow," the brothers Droulez feel : « a well attached udder lasts longer ». GAEC Droulez« The performance is necessary » adds François Droulez « but not no matter how, the cows must produce milk in a reasonable way » he says.

The milk is so much fixed in the genes of different strains of the herd; it allows farmers to set certain rules of "conduct". « The girls must always produce more than their dams, but also progress in the quantity » said the farmer. However, they do not forget the older generations of cows in the herd. « They need to getting older well » said François. In this regard, farmers do not hesitate to couple older dams with the most modern sires of Genes Diffusion. « In average we are going up to 2.4 lactations per cow but as they continue to produce, we keep them. Overall, cells and fertility are the leading causes of reform in our herd » do they explain.

The bull of the moment

To achieve these requirements, farmers have chosen the best bulls of the moment. In addition, they use the same sire for the first AI and return. « Certainly, this is a budget » they admit « but still, characters like cells and fertility improve from generation to generation ». In parallel, under the management of their herd, brothers Droulez didn’t hesitate longtime before using sexed semen and have decided to use it since 4 years on all the heifers. Droulez brothers with Mickaël Fievet (center), holstein genetics technician who follows the herd« In relation to needs of our dairy issue, we need females » justify breeders. They also explain that the choice of this technique is not a thoughtless investment. On the contrary: « massive use of sexed semen on a whole lot of heifers allows profitable investment ».

With the help of Mickaël FIEVET, François sets every year its couplings in line with the technician proposals. « It's always an exchange with the farmer » describes the CIA technician Genes Diffusion. « For example, we use the PAM (coupling computer software) for heifers. The process is classical: we are going to see the animals, François explains the strengths and weaknesses of each and we can decide together the list of sires the most suitable for breeding herd ». Even though computer coupling greatly facilitates the work, technician’s eye remains crucial. « The first thing we do when I arrive is to go to see the calves » says Mickaël FIEVET.

The JESTHER imprint

JESTHER left a good memory to breeders DroulezAdept of Genes Diffusion genetics, the GAEC Droulez admits he did not want to try something else. « The results are there, genetics works well, why change? » they say. Many sires have marked their herd, including JESTHER, who left an unforgettable impression to breeders by exceptional quality of his girls. ADMIRATION or DAVEY also left positive traces. More recently, breeders have focused on ROUMARE, DANILLO, FAMOUS MAN, FARMOY EBH, DEIGE, DOALL in conventional semen and ENTREDE, FLIBUSTIER and GOUPIX in sexed semen.

The method of GAEC Droulez works. For proof, breeding has been awarded within the PLM Top List in 2000, rewarding their work on the useful material. More recently, the GAEC has been ranked sixth in North breeding dairy (period 01/04/2011 - 31/03/2012). « More and more farms are producing more than 10,000 kg of milk. If we want to stay, we must invest in genetics and forward, nothing is acquired » they conclude.

GAEC Droulez in figures

Production

- 11 250 kg of milk
- % Fat: 37,4
- % Protein : 31,8

Culture

- Cereals (65% wheat)
- Beets (12 ha)
- Potatoes (5 ha)
- Corn (17 ha)
- Oilseed rape (96 ha)
- Prairies (20 ha)

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