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Calculating EPD's?

TCRanch

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We're buying 2 new bulls from a different breeder this year and I'm trying to figure out the what the average birth weight the calves will be based on the bulls EPD's. The previous breeder would just tell us Bull A will throw calves with an average birth weight of 68 lbs, Bull B will average 74 lbs, etc. & he was generally pretty accurate. The new breeder couldn't really tell me much more than the bulls actual birth weight & his EPD's. Old school? Is there a formula or is it just an estimate? I like knowing the average calf weight so I know what to expect and also for when the heifers are pelvic measured.

The bulls were buying are:
DA In Focus 5124, CED +16, BW -4.3, WN +39, YR +68, his actual BW was 64, Adj Wean 533, Adj Year 986 (he's a little guy for my little girls).
CA In Focus 5129, CED +14, BW -23, WN +50, YR +82, his actual BW was 70, Adj Wean 608, Adj Year 1026.

Thoughts, suggestions or words of wisdom?
 

dun

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You can;t do it. Actual weights aren;t part of the EPDs. EPDs are used to compare animals and probabilitys only. Depending on the accuracy, the CA sired calves should be about 18 pounds lighter then the DA bulls calves. Based on the calving ease both of their calves should squirt out but DAs should be chunkier/blockier at birth than the other bulls.
 

wbvs58

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I assume these bulls are young unproven bulls in which case the BW EPD figure would just amount to a calculated average of the sires EPD and the dams in which case you could have a sire with a very high BW to a dam with a very low BW and get a bull that looks quite respectable as a heifer bull. The actual BW of the bull in question has very little impact on his EPD, his ranking amongst his peers would be more relavent and this is taken into consideration more with his dam and sire's EPD.
The bull in question won't get more accurate EPD's until his progeny hit the ground and weights recorded with the society.
If I was looking for a heifer bull I would be looking at EPD's further back on both sides of the pedigree. As we all know different extremes from sire and dam don't always throw an average, more often one extreme or another.
The predictions the first breeder gave you is really "sales talk" though knowing the lines he has bred from he may be fairly confident.
The 2nd breeder may just be a bit more modest in his sales talk. I personally don't like salesman that make too many promises, I like to make my own judgement. "Believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see".
Best of luck with your decisions TC.

Ken
 

TCRanch

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Ken, yes, both bulls were both Sept '15.

DA in Focus 5124's Dam has a CED +11, BW -2.3 & his Sire has a CED +13, BW -1.7
DA in Focus 5129's Dam has a CED +7, BW +1.9 & his Sire has a CED +13, BW -1.7 (same Sire for both bulls).

Interesting observation about the two breeders. We've always been happy with the 1st breeders bulls, except once when we ended up with baaaad attitude & he took a ride. The breeder offered to make it right (very much appreciated) but we declined because he's taking over the family business and has turned it into a more profitable venture - great for the family but no more private treaty sales and I hate bidding at auctions (plus they're 2 hours away). The 2nd breeder is local, "good 'ol boy", been doing it 40 years and we've been able to visit the ranch & spend quality time with the bulls.

And Dun, shoot for a 150 - 160 pelvic score & call it good? Obviously the size of the calf is also contingent on the Dam & I've had heifers with great pelvic measurements spit out tiny calves and we got blindsided last year with one that was 89 lbs.
 

dun

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TCRanch":3mkaxnyh said:
Ken, yes, both bulls were both Sept '15.

DA in Focus 5124's Dam has a CED +11, BW -2.3 & his Sire has a CED +13, BW -1.7
DA in Focus 5129's Dam has a CED +7, BW +1.9 & his Sire has a CED +13, BW -1.7 (same Sire for both bulls).

Interesting observation about the two breeders. We've always been happy with the 1st breeders bulls, except once when we ended up with baaaad attitude & he took a ride. The breeder offered to make it right (very much appreciated) but we declined because he's taking over the family business and has turned it into a more profitable venture - great for the family but no more private treaty sales and I hate bidding at auctions (plus they're 2 hours away). The 2nd breeder is local, "good 'ol boy", been doing it 40 years and we've been able to visit the ranch & spend quality time with the bulls.

And Dun, shoot for a 150 - 160 pelvic score & call it good? Obviously the size of the calf is also contingent on the Dam & I've had heifers with great pelvic measurements spit out tiny calves and we got blindsided last year with one that was 89 lbs.
160 is our minimum
 

TCRanch

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Stocker Steve":1qhthbgl said:
TCRanch":1qhthbgl said:
Stocker Steve":1qhthbgl said:
Is -23. a typo?

Yes! And I even previewed.

I was going to make a really long recommendation on how to select bulls, but I thought I should check first. ;-)

The learning curve on my new smart phone is epic! Plus I wasn't wearing my readers :oops:
 

Ebenezer

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It's not the average calf that is the problem. It is the range of calf weights that make life miserable.
 

Lazy M

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IMO: assuming they both are sound: Either bull should be a sleep all night heifer bull. Neither bull should be used on cows, because they are both below or barely at breed average for growth.
 

Faraway

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Lazy M":10o2hw11 said:
IMO: ....Neither bull should be used on cows, because they are both below or barely at breed average for growth.

That's kinda interesting...

Why?
 

Lazy M

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Faraway":3e33p4zy said:
Lazy M":3e33p4zy said:
IMO: ....Neither bull should be used on cows, because they are both below or barely at breed average for growth.

That's kinda interesting...

Why?
I sell calves by the pound
 

Stocker Steve

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I looked at some In Focus sons. They were just OK bulls. Asked the seller what he thought. He said the heifers were better, and he would use these bulls if replacements were the priority.
 

TCRanch

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The bull we're retiring this year is a CED +12, BW +2.1, WW +40, YW +68. Only calves we've ever pulled from him have been mal placed. They average 70 lbs BW and his 2015 calves averaged 759 lbs (we had a dink at 585 lbs but also had 8 that were 848 lbs). Those calves were weaned in Oct, sold in Jan '16. We haven't sold our 2016 calves yet but I suspect the numbers will be similar. I just like small babies & rely on our mamas to raise them well. And we do retain heifers (depends how many we have that year).
 

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