A Discussion About EPDs

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rjk

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Could any of you answer some questions? on ma epd's (on limo), I have 3 registered limo's, one with an ma of 13, and two with an ma of 23. Is higher number better? They all had first calf and the lower has a small limflex calf, the others had bigger limo calves. The same is true for mothers, bigger cow, bigger calf, better growth. Is there a standard for average epd's for each breed? When you crossbreed, how do you use the epd's if they differ for each breed?

Right now I watch bw and epd and try to have both where I don't have calving problems, then watch calves to determine which cows and calves are worth keeping. Is the ma epd a good indicator to throw in here, and what would be a good balance on the ma epd?
thanks,
rick
 

KMacGinley

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Epds are certainly an interesting subject. To me they are immaterial, since mostly they have been used to select for ultra high growth.

My cattle are plenty growthy. My heifers weaned mid 6's on average AHIR, and Bulls were Just below 700, no creep. What is amazing is that this happens with cows that are breed average at best and below breed average for the most part for weaning epd coming out of Breed average epd herd bulls. And when I throw in a above average AI sire, he rarely competes well with my own bulls.

The day that someone can logically explain how my below breed average milk and weaning epd cows from the most accurate[/b] epd breed, are doing this, I may be interested.

If you think that I feel that there is an awful lot of fudging going on with some of the major breeders, you would be right. :)
 

oakcreekfarms

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Sorry that I don't have the "technical" talk that most of you have. Here's what I think
In short I don't see how you can respect performance records without putting some emphasis on epd's when looking at purchasing cattle. Those performance records create ratios which is a large part of what epd's derive from.
 

Brandonm2

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KMacGinley":o8qk1lla said:
Epds are certainly an interesting subject. To me they are immaterial, since mostly they have been used to select for ultra high growth.

My cattle are plenty growthy. My heifers weaned mid 6's on average AHIR, and Bulls were Just below 700, no creep. What is amazing is that this happens with cows that are breed average at best and below breed average for the most part for weaning epd coming out of Breed average epd herd bulls. And when I throw in a above average AI sire, he rarely competes well with my own bulls.

The day that someone can logically explain how my below breed average milk and weaning epd cows from the most accurate[/b] epd breed, are doing this, I may be interested.

If you think that I feel that there is an awful lot of fudging going on with some of the major breeders, you would be right. :)

I can remember when the HOT growth sires in their respective breeds were Enforcer 107H and Scotch Cap. According to the percentile break downs, on weaning wt EPD 85% of the Hereford breed today is growthier than Enforcer was and 70% of the Angus sires today are growthier than the massive Scotch Cap. I find that hard to believe and I don't know if this is all good; but being "below breed average" on the growth EPDs MIGHT not be a bad place to be for herds with a forage focus.
 
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Herefords.US

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oakcreekfarms":1zl8j3hr said:
Sorry that I don't have the "technical" talk that most of you have. Here's what I think
In short I don't see how you can respect performance records without putting some emphasis on epd's when looking at purchasing cattle. Those performance records create ratios which is a large part of what epd's derive from.

I don't know if your comment is addressed to me, but I do have respect for inherd performance records, yet I look at EPDs with quite a bit of skepticism, particularly those of low accuracy where few progeny have been recorded. One difference is that I KNOW who compiled those inherd records and how they were done. EPDs are "magically" generated out of some matrix form with information submitted by a multitude of individuals.

As a breeder with a desire to eventually produce a product that will appeal to others, I understand the NEED to consider EPDs when making cattle selection decisions, especially herd bull decisions. But because I have to consider them doesn't mean that I think they are really of that much value, other than as a marketing tool where you can say, "My bull's YW EPD is bigger than YOUR bull's!- and all the variations.

Those that's got 'em, tout them! Those that don't, discount 'em!

The question I have is: "How much use are EPDs, REALLY, to a cattle rancher when he goes into a pen of virgin bulls to make his selection?"

I think if you study the cattle 2-3 generations back in the bulls' pedigrees, you might have some basis to make decisions...but if you're just relying on that "set" of numbers at the bottom of a bull's pedigree in a sale book alone to make your decisions, you're not TOO FAR away from the craps table at Vegas.

George
 

KNERSIE

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The day that someone can logically explain how my below breed average milk and weaning epd cows from the most accurate[/b] epd breed, are doing this, I may be interested.

I'll have a go!

Your below breed average cattle are in balance with your program, both nutritionally and management wise. This makes your cattle better adapted to your environment (and more in balance) than the higher performance cattle that are so popular now. Adapted cattle always fare better than cattle unadapted to your environment.

What may be below average for some is optimum for you.

It is not compulsory to chase the high numbers!
 

DOC HARRIS

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dun":1t06y3bb said:
KNERSIE":1t06y3bb said:
It is not compulsory to chase the high numbers!

Just incase seomone missed this

dun
HIGH NUMBERS do NOT necessarily mean OPTIMUM numbers! vis-a-vis; LOW BW, LOW MILK, LOW BW ratios. There are others. We all must understand the "MEANINGS" of words. We are sinking in a mire of verbage if we don't understand what each person is talking about!

DOC HARRIS
 

Badlands

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Good point, DOC.

It brings to mind a point of "balanced bulls" that a seedstock guy in your neck of the woods no longer sells.

Badlands
 

sjr725

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I think EPD's are like alot of things - they can be a very good tool but are not necessarily to be taken as the gospel. Good common sense has to be in the mix somewhere as does just an eye for the animal and good business practice.
Just my 2 cents.
 

oakcreekfarms

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no that wasn't directed towards you at all, those articles were talking about keeping performance records yet not really caring about epd's
 

KMacGinley

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KNERSIE":3koxe80o said:
The day that someone can logically explain how my below breed average milk and weaning epd cows from the most accurate[/b] epd breed, are doing this, I may be interested.

I'll have a go!

Your below breed average cattle are in balance with your program, both nutritionally and management wise. This makes your cattle better adapted to your environment (and more in balance) than the higher performance cattle that are so popular now. Adapted cattle always fare better than cattle unadapted to your environment.

What may be below average for some is optimum for you.

It is not compulsory to chase the high numbers!


What I am trying to say is that my cows are below breed average in no way, shape or form. But they are according to their epds.

My Nick bull, that I posted pics of awhile back is +40 for weaning. Saf Directive is +56. Nick's calves weighed anywhere from 50 to 150 lbs heavier at weaning. Just finished yearling weights. Same weight difference persists. Nick YW= +73
Directive= +102

Come on, this bull is supposedly +.90 accuracy.
 

MikeC

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KMacGinley":1ibkpjxc said:
KNERSIE":1ibkpjxc said:
The day that someone can logically explain how my below breed average milk and weaning epd cows from the most accurate[/b] epd breed, are doing this, I may be interested.

I'll have a go!

Your below breed average cattle are in balance with your program, both nutritionally and management wise. This makes your cattle better adapted to your environment (and more in balance) than the higher performance cattle that are so popular now. Adapted cattle always fare better than cattle unadapted to your environment.

What may be below average for some is optimum for you.

It is not compulsory to chase the high numbers!


What I am trying to say is that my cows are below breed average in no way, shape or form. But they are according to their epds.

My Nick bull, that I posted pics of awhile back is +40 for weaning. Saf Directive is +56. Nick's calves weighed anywhere from 50 to 150 lbs heavier at weaning. Just finished yearling weights. Same weight difference persists. Nick YW= +73
Directive= +102

Come on, this bull is supposedly +.90 accuracy.

You're basing EPD's on one animal? :roll:
 

KNERSIE

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What I am trying to say is that my cows are below breed average in no way, shape or form. But they are according to their epds.

My Nick bull, that I posted pics of awhile back is +40 for weaning. Saf Directive is +56. Nick's calves weighed anywhere from 50 to 150 lbs heavier at weaning. Just finished yearling weights. Same weight difference persists. Nick YW= +73
Directive= +102

Come on, this bull is supposedly +.90 accuracy.

What I meant was "below breed average EPD cows" not that your cows are below average. Since I got an English lesson on another thread, I suppose I can blame the language issue, although my slow typing fingers that can't keep up with my brain are the real culprits.

What is the accuracy of the Nick bull?

Could it be that Nick just nicked better with your cows?
 

Tom Underwood

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George,

Thanks for posting the quotes from my site. I also appreciate all of the discussion. As you'll note, even the title of the article is “Why we’re paying less attention to EPD’s.” I still pay attention to EPD’s, just less attention. There are many other things that I weight more heavily.

By the way, I did share my thoughts with the AHA, and I learned a bit from them. I’ll post the dialog a little later if I have the chance.

To me, EPD’s do a very good job of summarizing characteristics within my herd of cows, especially cows that are a result of more than one generation of my breeding. They nicely summarize the relative statistics of my 5+ year-old cows.

For my main cow herd, my EPD’s are slightly above breed average. I have tried for years, however, to buy a moderate-framed heifer or cow with good conformation that can perform in the top 10% of my herd. Despite always buying cows with EPD’s above my heard average, less than 10% of purchases have become top 10% performers in my herd. I have the data to prove it, and I don’t believe that it is merely a run of bad luck.

My theory is that a good cattleman can recognize a good cow before the EPD’s move to show she’s a good cow. The bull side of the equation is different, but subtly biases reside there also.

I do, on the side, have a cattle herd in which I ignore EPD’s. I stress that this is a small experiment, not my primary herd. It has occurred to me that the best-tasting fish species are the slowest growing, the most expensive woods are slower growing, and the more flavorful vegetables tend to grow more slowly. It may all be coincidence, but for curiosity’s sake, I have built an experimental herd where my sole focus is on great tasting, tender beef from easy-keeping cows, regardless of growth. I do ultrasound and send in the DNA samples on this herd, and I feed out steers and eat the beef. It’s a very slow process, but I’m relatively young and only a few years into it. FYI, I think I own a cow in this herd with the lowest EPD’s among all active cows in the Hereford breed. She’s not a miniature cow. http://www.herfnet.com/online/cgi-b...56&5=2B3C2B3C3A&6=5A5D5C262625232226&9=5E5A59

Tom
 

KMacGinley

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MikeC":3vj61ooj said:
KMacGinley":3vj61ooj said:
KNERSIE":3vj61ooj said:
The day that someone can logically explain how my below breed average milk and weaning epd cows from the most accurate[/b] epd breed, are doing this, I may be interested.

I'll have a go!

Your below breed average cattle are in balance with your program, both nutritionally and management wise. This makes your cattle better adapted to your environment (and more in balance) than the higher performance cattle that are so popular now. Adapted cattle always fare better than cattle unadapted to your environment.

What may be below average for some is optimum for you.

It is not compulsory to chase the high numbers!


What I am trying to say is that my cows are below breed average in no way, shape or form. But they are according to their epds.

My Nick bull, that I posted pics of awhile back is +40 for weaning. Saf Directive is +56. Nick's calves weighed anywhere from 50 to 150 lbs heavier at weaning. Just finished yearling weights. Same weight difference persists. Nick YW= +73
Directive= +102

Come on, this bull is supposedly +.90 accuracy.

You're basing EPD's on one animal? :roll:

I can do without the eyeroll, thanks. :)

If I was basing it on just one animal, I wouldn't have too much to say, I am basing it on the supposed accuracy of a bull that is .90 for ww with big numbers that is getting his butt kicked by my breed average herd bull. You all go on and on about how epds with high accuracy are the gospel... Wait a minute. Since my bull only has an accuracy of .3 he may turn out to be + 140 for weaning.... Anybody want some Semen? :D
 

Badlands

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For my main cow herd, my EPD’s are slightly above breed average. I have tried for years, however, to buy a moderate-framed heifer or cow with good conformation that can perform in the top 10% of my herd. Despite always buying cows with EPD’s above my heard average, less than 10% of purchases have become top 10% performers in my herd. I have the data to prove it, and I don’t believe that it is merely a run of bad luck.

My theory is that a good cattleman can recognize a good cow before the EPD’s move to show she’s a good cow. The bull side of the equation is different, but subtly biases reside there also.


I would say that you changed the environment of the female, which affected her lifetime production.

Badlands
 

ollie?

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Badlands":3jcr5zbf said:
For my main cow herd, my EPD’s are slightly above breed average. I have tried for years, however, to buy a moderate-framed heifer or cow with good conformation that can perform in the top 10% of my herd. Despite always buying cows with EPD’s above my heard average, less than 10% of purchases have become top 10% performers in my herd. I have the data to prove it, and I don’t believe that it is merely a run of bad luck.

My theory is that a good cattleman can recognize a good cow before the EPD’s move to show she’s a good cow. The bull side of the equation is different, but subtly biases reside there also.


I would say that you changed the environment of the female, which affected her lifetime production.

Badlands
Welcome to my side of the fence badlands. I've said here for years that epd's are only good for the environment and management that the majority of the data was collected in.
 

rocket2222

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If I was basing it on just one animal, I wouldn't have too much to say, I am basing it on the supposed accuracy of a bull that is .90 for ww with big numbers that is getting his butt kicked by my breed average herd bull. You all go on and on about how epds with high accuracy are the gospel... Wait a minute. Since my bull only has an accuracy of .3 he may turn out to be + 140 for weaning.... Anybody want some Semen?



Thats what epd's are all about, and why AI is so great, you get to compare bulls from all over the place to your home grown stuff. The bull with .90 acc. obviously has been used a lot, you may have a bull with more growth, send in his calves performance records, his accuracy will go up, and his numbers will proberbly go up to.
 

HerefordSire

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What is the better equity investment?

A) A company generating revenue of $100B per year priced @ $50 per share

B) A company generating revenue of $1M per year priced @ $50 per share?

As you can see, there is no answer because there is not enough information provided. Even if there was enough information provided, without a common denominator available, it would be hard to compare the value between the two companies. This is where cash flow per share, or PEs (price / earnings), etc. come in handy. These denominators are provided so companies in the same industry sector can be compared provided there is no book cooking. This may be the reason for EPDs. Is doesn't matter how big the bull is or how red he is, what matters is the difference in value relative to what is being paid AND the probability of the bull and progeny will appreciate faster with the same risk.

What is the better bull investment?

A) A bull with a BW of 1.0 and WW of 60 priced @ $10K.

B) A bull with a CE of 8.0 and a YW of 120 priced @ $10K.
 

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