Traits Other than Production (TOP) measure the physical attributes of dairy cattle. Farmers score animals for traits relating to their management at milking time and qualified inspectors score traits relating to the physical conformation of the animals. In addition to scores on individual traits, registered animals receive a classification award that categorises them based on the standard of conformation overall.

Objective of TOP

The main objective of the TOP system is to provide accurate and unbiased comparisons of cows and sires, thus providing herd owners with easy-to-use information. There are three main ways TOP inspections add value for herd owners:

  1. When all two year olds in the herd are inspected, breeding values for the TOP traits are fine-tuned for the individual animals resulting in a more accurate prediction for how the animal is expected to breed the trait concerned. This is like “herd testing” for conformation traits. The reliability for the breeding values increase when generations of two year olds are inspected over time.
  2. The raw scores for individual traits paint a picture of how the cow appears for each trait. This adds significant value for marketing the cow or her progeny, especially where the ancestry is also assessed. In addition to scores on individual traits, animals receives a classification award that categorises them based on the standard of conformation overall.
  3. TOP raw scores for individual traits contribute to sire proofs and the calculation of TOP BV’s for individual bulls. Specifically, information collected on two year old daughters of bulls also receiving their first production proof is vital industry good information.

Traits other than production

Traits scored by the herd owner:

  • Adaptability to milking
  • Shed temperament
  • Milking speed
  • Overall opinion

Traits scored by the herd inspector:

  • Weight
  • Stature
  • Capacity
  • Rump angle
  • Rump width
  • Legs
  • Udder support
  • Front udder
  • Rear udder
  • Front teat placement
  • Rear teat placement
  • Udder overall
  • Dairy conformation
  • Condition score

Classification Awards

Classification awards are given to all inmilk heifers and cows. To be eligible for classification awards, animals must be registered with Jersey New Zealand.
Classification is divided into the following categories:

EX – Excellent – E Age
VG – Very Good – V Age
GP – Good Plus – + Age
G  –  Good – G Age

When all two year olds are inspected in a member herd, the results are entered in the database and are used in Animal Evaluation to calculate breeding values for the traits.  If a member chooses to select only a few two year olds to be inspected, the data is not used in Animal Evaluation and adds nothing to breeding values.  Jersey NZ recommends that members inspect all two year olds to receive greater value from the service.

Inspection Service Options

Tour Option

The Tour option usually involves two classifiers from out of the area coming into a region to inspect all animals put up for classification.  Spring calving herds are inspected during October, November and December and autumn calving herds are inspected as requested by the member.  Tours happen once a year and are usually completed by 1 December in any given year.

Personalised Option

With this option members can plan an inspection to work in better with the needs of their farm operation and is not restricted to tour times of the year.

Please note the following conditions for the personalised option:

  1. One or two (if applicable for larger herds) local Classifier/s will inspect your cattle (this inspector will be TOP certified and a Jersey NZ Classifier).
  2. Inspections must be carried out in suitable yards for drafting and be on concrete.
  3. All inspections are arranged between the inspector and the member as to when inspections suit.
  4. The herd owner or one staff member must be present during the inspections to assist with drafting etc.

This inspection option is offered in regions as set out in the application form.

TOP & Classification Application Form 2017

  • Please complete / amend all details in full to assist with scheduling (Applications close Friday 1st September 2017)
  • Include rapid number
  • if different

    (see below for explanations of tour options)
    For personalised only
  • Note: Inspections to be completed by 1st December

  • Herd Fee - Tour option $75.00
    Herd Fee - Personalised Option $100.00
    2 year old heifer (all in) $5.50 per animal
    Older cows (when all 2 year olds are inspected) $6.60 per animal
    Selective ages (when not all 2 year olds are inspected) $8.90 per animal

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  • Tour Option

    The Tour option uses touring inspectors and commences October in Waikato/Northland (North Island) and October/November (South Island). These inspections are usually completed by 1 December in any given year. An itinerary is arranged annually for inspectors to visit different localities that will, as far as practicable, meet the wishes of the applicant. This option will be entered automatically if you have not ticked one of either service options.

    Personalised Option

    This inspection service option is being offered in Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty for 2017 inspections (excludes Taranaki, Manawatu, Wairarapa and the South Island). This option is available so members can plan an inspection to work in better with the needs of their farm operation where needed. Please note the following conditions for this option:

    1. One local classifier will inspect your cattle (this inspector will be TOP certified and a Jersey NZ classifier).
    2. Inspections must be carried out in suitable yards for drafting and be on concrete.
    3. The member or one staff member must be present during the inspections to assist with drafting etc.
    4. Your preferred month for the inspection will be noted and passed to the local classifier assigned to carry out the work. The inspector will confirm with the member a mutual date and time to carry out the inspection, there is no guarantee that an inspection will be available for any specific date or time, so flexibility is required.
    5. Personalised inspections will not be carried out at the same time as the tour is going through the region. If you want a personalised inspection when a tour is going through your region, the inspection will be carried out by the tour classifiers.
    Health & Safety

    Jersey NZ will confirm the date and times of your inspection. Please ensure that any health & safety policy requirements for your farm are provided to Jersey NZ at least one week prior to the scheduled inspection.

TOP & Classification Form 2017