Herd fertility has a major impact on returns in a commercial beef herd. In economic terms, a 1% increase in herd fertility is equivalent to approximately a 10% rise in growth rate. Fertility within a herd is influenced by four major factors: • Reproductive soundness of bulls • Structural soundness • Management • Genetics
What difference would a bull with a +30 kg EBV for 400 Day Weight make as a terminal sire in a commercial herd? The sire and dam each contribute 50% of the genes to their offspring. The sire has an EBV advantage of +30kg and we will assume the dam has no influence (i.e. 0kg … Read more How much should you pay for a bull?
Trials are occasionally carried out to validate Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), to prove that what they are predicting is actually happening on commercial farms. This involves matching the expected performance on farm (the EBV) to the actual performance for a given trait. An outcome of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics Beef Progeny Test … Read more Do EBVs work?
EBVs are in real units for several economically relevant traits. • Use the breed averages to compare the given bull’s EBV for the trait you are looking at. • Compare breed averages to the Percentile Bands Table to see where the bull ranks within its breed. • If in doubt, use the EBV graph. • … Read more Selecting a bull – Genetic information
Is the breeder making real progress? The bull breeder’s breeding programme should be clear, easily explained and backed up by good records and clear facts. It is important to ask questions to establish the genetic merit of the herd and whether genetic progress is being made in the traits that are of interest to you.
There’s no doubt that when you’re buying a bull, his physical and structural soundness must be factored in. But what you can’t see is just as important. Using breeding values allow you to see ‘under the hood’ of an animal. You can see his weak points and his strengths to decide if he’s the right fit for your herd. In this presentation,
Mature cow weight has been a topical trait in 2020 and whether your breeding program aims to increase, decrease or remain constant the genetic merit of the herd for the trait, the critical practice remains the same. We need to be recording mature cow weights, as it is only with the accurate description of the trait that we as breeders can make the selection and breeding decisions which will ultimately drive the direction of the breed.