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article imageFrance bids farewell to Jocko the Bull, thousands of cows widowed

By Robert Myles     Apr 4, 2012 in Odd News
Last month Jocko Besne, the most prodigious breeding bull in France died in Loire-atlantique department in western France. Following Jocko's death, an estimated 400,000 offspring have been left fatherless.
Jocko Besne, reckoned to be the father of hundreds of thousands of calves, died of natural causes on March 7, 2012 at the ripe old age, for a bull, of 16 years, reports Sersia France. Jocko died at a French breeding research centre in Blain, Loire-atlantique situated on France's Atlantic coast.
Jocko was a star of the Prim’Holsten breed of dairy cattle and was rated third in the world in terms of progeny. It's estimated that Jocko’s sperm produced 161,888 dairy cows and that his total offspring, including heifers, was something approaching 400,000!
The lower figure relates to progeny certified as being Jocko’s since not all births of calves sired by his sperm were recorded. The French department of agriculture which maintains records for all cattle in France calculates that Jocko’s ‘daughters’ are to be found on no fewer than 23,370 farms. Some of Jocko's 'family' can be seen in the video clip below.
Since his birth on August 29, 1994 at Morbihan in Brittany, France Jocko has been an exceptional sire. He spent the last 13 years of his life at CRITER in the town of Blain, Loire-atlantique where his sperm was much in demand by cattle breeders from France and further afield. It is unlikely that Jocko’s ‘performance’ will be surpassed since advances in the DNA selection of bulls in recent years have meant that the generational cycle of bulls and progeny has been reduced.
Preserved for Posterity
After his death, Jocko’s remains were sent to the Natural History Museum in Paris. There, they will be incorporated into the collection of comparative anatomy at the museum in the French capital and available for study by French and foreign scientists in the years to come.
More about Agriculture, Food agriculture, Cattle, Farming, France
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