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Ai sire question

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Angus Rocks

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So was reading thru what's in your semen tank thread below and was thinking about how there is so many different ai bulls available and how it seems like there is quite a lot of jumping around to different bulls from year to year. (I am guilty of this right now to but just getting started with ai'ing) I have been talking to a guy that believes in line breeding to get consistency in the offspring for some years.

So my question is when jumping around from year to year to totally different bloodlines what does that do to consistency of calves and for that matter replacement heifers? Since the bull is half the equation do they stay fairly consistent?

I know of how many breeders that do quite a bit of line breeding and it seems like they are very successful.

I am trying to learn so that's why I ask!
 

Son of Butch

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The average guy's best bet for consistency and performance is to select a linebred bull to use on outcross cows.
But few do it when using A.I. as most get caught up solely in epd numbers and bull of the month club can be so
addictive.

In addition just using a pure breed bull rather than a hybrid bull satisfies minimum consistency requirements for many.
 

Ebenezer

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What do you want? How do you get there? Do you want them mostly alike? Can you accept the monotony of all animals being good enough? The best bull you'll ever use is the one(s) you use from your cows that do the best for you. The fear of inbreeding is an excuse. There is more excitement in being with buddies and buying a bull that you know nothing about at a sale to be the king (winner) of the moment than to stay with the tried and true that you see every day. Linebreeding is not so much an animals issue as a people issue.
 

NEFarmwife

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To the linebreeding... it is intimidating. I don’t think there is enough education for most (including myself), to feel comfortable with it. I do see it’s benefits but what are the risks? Where are the boundaries? How does everyone’s lack of education, hurt you as the seller when you sell?
 

Son of Butch

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NEFarmwife":voi8w5ar said:
I do see it’s benefits but what are the risks? Where are the boundaries?
risk = stillbirth % increases with inbreeding coefficient.

I draw the line at 12.5% inbreeding coefficient as being line breeding and greater than 12.5% as inbreeding
i.e. grandfather to granddaughter = inbred coefficient of (.125) or 12.5%
i.e. full brother, full sister mating has an inbreeding coefficient of .25 or 25%
another example of intensive line breeding is mating 1/2 brother to 1/2 sister = 12.5%

The best result I've seen was taking a son of the maternal grandfather mated to a granddaughter = 9.375%
The same cow was mated to a great individual, her paternal 1/2 brother, and that 12.5% mating crashed and burned.
So 9.375% is my personal preference when making a line breeding suggestion and I prefer line breeding to the maternal
side of the pedigree rather than the paternal side for replacement females.
 

Ebenezer

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"risk = stillbirth % increases with inbreeding coefficient." (Quote function will not work today.)

Not really. Biggest risks are lower performance or females that are sterile. But that is part of the sort and save process. And some of the lower performance will disappear in the 2nd and third generations.

"To the linebreeding... it is intimidating. I don’t think there is enough education for most (including myself), to feel comfortable with it. I do see it’s benefits but what are the risks? Where are the boundaries? How does everyone’s lack of education, hurt you as the seller when you sell?"

There are definite steps. Not all animals will linebreed well. My guess is that there will be 85% that will not work and 15% that will show little to no effects. That is the purifying first step. %IBC is not a big deal. Full sib to full sib, son to dam, sire to daughter or whatever. But making tight breeding in the herd or flock is not the goal. It is to close out unnecessary influences once you see decent animals that have also been sorted for useful trait for you and others who use or eat them. You are really seeking the purer and more potent individual(s) in a group.

Selling then becomes not a mainstream numbers game or "mine are sired by the same bulls or rams as everybody else's in the USA or world" but a true set of selling points of proper function, environmental fit and useful animals which are all a lot alike without one great one to set up as an achievement each year. But you're right, it is not for everybody.
 

NEFarmwife

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Very informative. I'd seek out someone with much more knowledge and experience, if we chose to do this down the road.

We have acquired 120 more head of heifers and would run short on semen. So, scrambled for more and purchased from a local man who had a decent inventory on hand. One of his sires was a son of Styles Upgrade who is a full brother to our Styles Up N Coming, who've we bred heavily into our program. Liked this sires look and #'s, so we did purchase a few straws of it...Had to be mindful of who we used it on, when we were breeding a few of our cows. I don't believe commercially, people really care but it makes me nervous. Especially if you're trying to constantly improve your herd.
 

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