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In the strict respect of the Highest E.U. Sanitary Constraints and in the constant preoccupation of their wellbeing, the future Bulls of the Montbéliarde Breed spend the first months of life at UMOTEST Self Performing Station.
UMOTEST : Montbeliarde Testing Group, Overview...

350 Montbeliard bull calves are raised and controlled each year at the Umotest Self Performing Station of Ceyzériat (Ain, France, Between Geneva and Lyon). Only the very best 130 of them, selected for their qualities and their genetic potential, will be progeny tested. They may become the Stars of tomorrow.

UMOTEST (Union Montbéliarde de Testage = Montbeliarde Testing Group) was created between four co-operatives in 1968 to share the technical efforts of selection & controls in the Montbéliarde breed. UMOTEST was established in Ceyzériat (80 km north from Lyon, 100 west from Geneva). Our first goal: to ensure an optimal selection and genetic progress of the Montbeliarde Breed. This is based on:

  • Great number of animals tested
  • Scale economy between AI center
  • Share investment in advance research
  • Gathering all the Montbeliarde stockbreeders

Today UMOTEST is managed by 22 stockbreeders (the Administrators) with a team of 12 employees and gathers 15 A.I. Centers all over France (see map). Our activity (86% of the domestic Montbéliarde Market) , go International for 20 year through our Exclusiv Export Partner: COOPEX. Semen of our top Bulls is exported in all Europe, Northern & Southern America, Africa and now Asia.

UMOTEST procreate and raise each year 350 young Montbeliards bull calves all coming from contracted Bull Dam and Bull Sire. They are rigorously selected on their performance in dairy production, conformation (udder, body, F&L...), beef ability and functional traits (longevity, cells, fertilty...). A Selection Commission, made up stockbreeders and technicians, chooses (conform to the objectives of the Breed defined by the UPRA) the 130 bulls calves which will be progeny tested. That means nearly 330 cows will be inseminated pro young bull. Nearly 80 heifers will be born. 2 or 3 years later, their lactation & fonctional performances will be independantly controlled as well are their type. These results will allows (thanks to INRA Animal Blup Mode) to get the index of their father (the young bulls).

A genetic capital of very first importance

Each year, from the 130 progeny tested young bulls, 10 to 15 get the ministerial agreement for A.I. So they will be used by all the breeder (France and all over the World).

This rigorous work of selection is based on very modern techniques, like Embryo Transfer.

"Our work, underlines Michel TISSIER Executive Director UMOTEST, is choosing the animals in conformity with the breed objectives and making them reproduce with a constant concern: to bring to the stockbreeders quality & safety in their production. This benefits to all the users of the Montbeliarde: farmers, industrialists, and the consumers as well ".

UMOTEST has a genetic capital of first importance : 935 Montbeliard males. This includes 370 young bull calves at the self performing station of Ceyzériat ; 205 bulls in production and 360 in "Lay Off" awaiting the results of their progeny testing. With its 15 A.I. centers, UMOTEST carries out each year nearly 400 000 animal inseminations, follows the performances of 325 000 cows and exports with COOPEX 200 000 straws of semen in the whole world.

The course of Young Bulls

1 Born in farm (certified free of all dicease, & negativ blood analys of th Dam), 350 Montbeliard male calves enter (at 50 days of age) the nursery of pre-quarantaine of UMOTEST. During 1 month they undergo a very thorough sanitary control. The slightest doubt involves the elimination of the animal. Then they enter the Self-Performing Quarantine station. Between 2 and 3 month, the are weaned.

2 At 4 months, begins self performing control. This individual zootechnical control on growth (dailly gain), feed & roughage efficiency and Beef ability. Reaching ten months, at the end of the process, only 40-45% of the best bulls will qualified. The remaining animals goes through control of the sexual function. 10% of the bull calves are also reformed at this step. This insures top quality of the semen.

3 From the 350 entered males, onlys the 130 happy elected will beginn to produce (14 -15 month of age), semen in order to ensure inseminations necessary for progeny testing. They go in one of our 13 A.I. centers of UMOTEST group after another set of complete sanitary control. In A.I. center, they produce 5000 straws, and are put in "Lay-Off". After four years awaiting the results, 10 to 15 Top Bulls (out of the 130) are approved and allowed to use. These approved Top Bulls are availlable in UMOTEST Catalogue for a broad and precise use by all the stockbreeders.

Notes that this process is done in perfect continuity between the pre-quarantine (Unique in Europe) the Station and the IA centers. This insure for all UMOTEST Bull and semen the highest level of confidence.