How to Read a Pedigree
Click here to follow along with a pedigree sample
What is a pedigree?
A pedigree summarizes an animal’s potential performance, its actual performance (if applicable) and its ancestry, going back four generations. It is a great tool for maintaining animal records, marketing animals and learning about the animal’s potential and current performance. The information found on pedigrees comes from an animal’s registration and is updated with official proofs, which are released from CDN in April, August and December, and it can be used for a variety of purposes.
While pedigrees can be found through many different avenues – breed associations, the Canadian Dairy Network (CDN), sire proofs, milk recording, sale catalogues or show catalogues – official pedigrees can only be ordered through the breed association. Holstein Canada clients can order pedigrees for any Holstein Canada-registered animals through the producer’s online web account or through Customer Service by phone or email. This information can also be viewed by using Animal Inquiries.
Pedigrees are available in both domestic and international options: Domestic
pedigrees provide BCAs. Instead of BCAs, International pedigrees include
365-day records and ME values. Pedigrees can be produced in French or
English, and weights can appear in kilograms or pounds. The example shown
here is a great tool for dairy enthusiasts to learn how to read a pedigree
or just brush up on their knowledge.
Pedigrees display information in nine different sections. Note that if a section has no available information, the section will not appear on the pedigree. For example, if the animal has not received any production awards, none will be listed.
Section A: Basic Animal Information
This section includes the animal’s full name, registration number and the birthdate. Each animal’s registration number contains a country code, the gender of the animal and the animal’s unique lifetime number. Genetics imported from other countries will have a country code representing that country, i.e. animals registered in the United
States will have a country code of USA or 840. This section also includes recessive information, genotyping status, whether the animal was the result of ET, genetic traits and coat colour.
Section B: Conformation Assessment and Star Brood
The animal’s most recent classification data is found here. You will also find star brood points in this section, including the number of animals influencing the star brood points.
Section C: Genetic Indexes and Genetic Production
This section includes the two Canadian Indexes, LPI and Pro$. To learn more about LPI and Pro$, check out the Genetics 101 article in the May/June 2017 issue of InfoHolstein. This section also includes the animal’s genetic potential for milk production and components.
Section D: Genetic Indexes – Type (classification)
Similar to the previous section, producers can find the animal’s genetic potential for overall conformation, and the scores from the four sections: Mammary System, Feet and Legs, Dairy Strength and Rump.
Section E, F, G: Lactation Records
Three sets of lactation records are listed on the animal’s pedigree:A list of all completed lactations, highlighting milk, fat and protein yields.
A projected record, which indicates her projected
milk record for that lactation. This section highlights projected milk
volume, fat volume, protein volume and BCAs.
The lifetime summary shows the animal’s total production through all lactations and the average BCA/Deviation values for milk, fat and protein.
Section H: Production Awards
Awards are further divided into two sections:
- Production Awards (Super 3 and Superior Lactation)
- Show Winnings – There are two lines for All Canadian/American (by priority when there are many), and four lines for all other awards (criteria is by priority when there are many)
Production awards and show winnings are highlighted here. Show awards highlight placing, age, show name and year. The Holstein Canada Show Committee has determined that only animals that meet one of the following criteria are eligible to have show winnings listed on pedigree.
75 HEAD OR LESS: Champions and 1st place
OVER 75 HEAD: Champions and top 3
150 HEAD AND UP: Champions and top 5
ROYAL B&W: Champions and top 10
Section I: Progeny
Here you can find the number of daughters in each classification final class, the number of daughters, their mature equivalent lactation averages and the daughters’ average BCAs.
By looking at an animal’s pedigree you can learn a lot about the animal, their potential performance, their actual performance and past generations. Pedigrees are good tools to help with breeding decisions, provide valuable insight into performance and can be used as a marketing tool. To order a pedigree, visit your web account or contact customer service.
For customers looking to purchase pedigrees for animals, pedigrees are provided in both official languages, English and French, to be customer-friendly for both buyers and sellers.
4-Generation pedigrees are available to order at the following cost:
- Electronic PDF $10
- Hardcopy $12
- A PDF copy will always be delivered to your e-Documents even if a hard copy is requested.
Online Pedigrees Available for Purchase
Using the animal search engine on Holstein Canada's front homepage called Animal Inquiry, the search function allows any visitor free of charge to select an animal and view the animal's Animal Information Sheet (AIS). When you click on the Order Pedigree button, you will be asked to provide a web account login and password. You can sign-up for a login account on our website or you can call our Holstein Canada Customer Service department at 1-855-756-8300 ext. 410.
For a selected animal, choose a pedigree type (domestic or international); language (French or English); and weight (kg or lb.). Multiple pedigree requests may be submitted in one order.
An automated system will process orders on 10-minute intervals and conduct data verification checks. Any request failing one or more data checks will be placed on hold until Holstein Canada staff can review and edit the data, typically within one business day. All requests passing the data verification process will automatically produce a pedigree document in PDF format sent to the client's personal message board.
The pedigrees in PDF format should be saved to your local PC, for copying to a breeder or industry website, e-mailing to interested buyers, or to keep for future printing.
The result is a verified, official 4-generation pedigree satisfying any sales opportunities in virtually real time!