EPD Questions

Help Support CattleToday:

PASS

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Waller, Texas
I am considering a new bull and would like to use EPD's. I only have 25 cows, so I need a bull to use on 1st calf heifers as well as the need for growth. I know BW and WW are the catagories but what numbers should I use? Black Angus is the breed I'll be comparing. Also, do I pay attention to the real birth weight of the bull?

Thanks
 

txag

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
1,712
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas
PASS":5gk9kbdj said:
I am considering a new bull and would like to use EPD's. I only have 25 cows, so I need a bull to use on 1st calf heifers as well as the need for growth. I know BW and WW are the catagories but what numbers should I use? Black Angus is the breed I'll be comparing. Also, do I pay attention to the real birth weight of the bull?

Thanks

yes, you should certainly look at his real birth weight. epd's are estimations of the bull's genetic potential and are not definites, especially in young, unproven sires.

on the other hand, they are a very good tool to compare bulls of a similar breed. i'm not familiar w/angus epd's so i'm not sure what is considered "low" for BW or "high" for WW and i'm sure someone else on here can fill you in on that. because epd's are a comparison, if you look at a bull with a BW epd of 0 compared to a bull with a BW epd of +10, you would expect the bull with a BW epd of 0 to have calves that weigh (on average) 10 pounds less than a bull with an epd of +10. for BW epds you want low numbers and WW, higher is better. there is also an epd for CE which will also give you an indication. with, CE (calving ease), the higher the number the better.
 

Frankie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
PASS":2mgrop73 said:
I am considering a new bull and would like to use EPD's. I only have 25 cows, so I need a bull to use on 1st calf heifers as well as the need for growth. I know BW and WW are the catagories but what numbers should I use? Black Angus is the breed I'll be comparing. Also, do I pay attention to the real birth weight of the bull?
Thanks

The Angus Association recommends using a bull with a BW EPD of less than 3 on first calf heifers. EPDs are based on purebred info, of course, and if you're breeding crossbred cattle, you should take heterosis into account. Also, don't just look an individul bull's EPD. Take time to look at his sire and maternal grandsire's BW EPDs. You might not want to buy a bull with a BW EPD of 2 if his sire has a BW EPD of 7 and his dam has an EPD of -5. I don't pay much attention to a bull's own performance, BW, WW, YW, unless I know something about how the bull was managed. Calves born in the spring will often be larger than calves born in the fall. If the producer creep feeds calves that could affect WW.

Here's a link to an Angus publication that might help you out: "Bull Buying Strategies to Improve Your Herd-Our Theory on Breeding Beef Cattle"

http://www.angus.org/pubs/bullbuy.htm
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
3,782
Reaction score
20
Location
North Central Kansas
My suggestions on EPDs for a commercial herd is get a bull with:
BW- <2.0
WW->38
YW- around 80
MILK- around 12- 18


Height and other such EPDs don't really matter much but if you plan on retaining heifers get a bull with a positive scrotal EPD because that relates to fertility in daughters. Good luck
Jake
 
OP
P

PASS

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Waller, Texas
Thanks to all who replied!

Jake, this is what I was looking for, some sort of rule of thumb. I'll use your advice.
 

Michelle Pankonien

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
174
Reaction score
0
Location
College Station, TX
Hello,

Just a comment on EPD's

Expected progeny differences very from herd to herd and are developed based on data collected and compared between animals in contemporary groups

This means animals of the same sex, same percentage and same managment

You can not compare animals very well that have been managed totally differently

A Bull with a yearling weight of 1200 ( pushed on concentrates)V a Bull with a 1050 yearling weight (fed out on forage) are hard to compare, look at the accuracy, higher accuracies will indicate a bull with a large number of progeny with data collected, these are the bulls that you can most easliy compare
 

Frankie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
Michelle Pankonien":2qvqvyvb said:
Hello,

Just a comment on EPD's

Expected progeny differences very from herd to herd and are developed based on data collected and compared between animals in contemporary groups

This means animals of the same sex, same percentage and same managment

You can not compare animals very well that have been managed totally differently

A Bull with a yearling weight of 1200 ( pushed on concentrates)V a Bull with a 1050 yearling weight (fed out on forage) are hard to compare, look at the accuracy, higher accuracies will indicate a bull with a large number of progeny with data collected, these are the bulls that you can most easliy compare

I'm sorry, Michelle, but EPDs should not vary from herd to herd (of the same breed). EPDs are what allow you to compare animals that have been managed differently. EPDs are about eight times more reliable as indicators of a bull's genetic potential than his own performance. His own performance is where differences in management come into play. It's true that the accuracy figure is important in EPDs, but if someone is buying a yearling bull for use on a commercial cow herd, chances of finding a bull with accuracies above .30 aren't very good.
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
0
Location
Manitoba, Canada
My suggestions on EPDs for a commercial herd is get a bull with:
BW- <2.0
WW->38
YW- around 80
MILK- around 12- 18


Height and other such EPDs don't really matter much but if you plan on retaining heifers get a bull with a positive scrotal EPD because that relates to fertility in daughters. Good luck
Jake

I don't pretend to know alot about this subject. Wouldn't these EPD's relate to a certain breed. I know alot of Simmental that have milk EPD's around 7 but still have more milk than an average angus. Isn't this EPD score related to a base number for that breed given somewhere in the past. The Simmental which originated as a dairy/beef breed would have probably had a higher base milk EPD at the time it was measured, than the angus had as its base or have I got this totally backwards?
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
Cattle Rack Rancher":yxy3rp74 said:
I don't pretend to know alot about this subject. Wouldn't these EPD's relate to a certain breed. I know alot of Simmental that have milk EPD's around 7 but still have more milk than an average angus. Isn't this EPD score related to a base number for that breed given somewhere in the past. The Simmental which originated as a dairy/beef breed would have probably had a higher base milk EPD at the time it was measured, than the angus had as its base or have I got this totally backwards?

EPDs are developed for each breed and they are different. There is an annual adjustment figure that allows comparison of various traits across breeds.
The link is to the 2002 conversion.

http://www.ext.vt.edu/news/periodicals/livestock/aps-02_08/aps-127.html

dun
 

ollie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
984
Reaction score
0
Frankie":r4bdlkdj said:
Michelle Pankonien":r4bdlkdj said:
Hello,

Just a comment on EPD's

Expected progeny differences very from herd to herd and are developed based on data collected and compared between animals in contemporary groups

This means animals of the same sex, same percentage and same managment

You can not compare animals very well that have been managed totally differently

A Bull with a yearling weight of 1200 ( pushed on concentrates)V a Bull with a 1050 yearling weight (fed out on forage) are hard to compare, look at the accuracy, higher accuracies will indicate a bull with a large number of progeny with data collected, these are the bulls that you can most easliy compare

I'm sorry, Michelle, but EPDs should not vary from herd to herd (of the same breed). EPDs are what allow you to compare animals that have been managed differently. EPDs are about eight times more reliable as indicators of a bull's genetic potential than his own performance. His own performance is where differences in management come into play. It's true that the accuracy figure is important in EPDs, but if someone is buying a yearling bull for use on a commercial cow herd, chances of finding a bull with accuracies above .30 aren't very good.
Frankie , Here is a real world situation. If I am using a Limousine bull now under which my average weaning weight for the steers is 600# what should the Angus bulls epd's be if I want to increase my weaning weight 25 additional pounds? One thing I will give epd's is they make it easier to sell bulls to people that know nothing about cattle.
 
A

Anonymous

Well here my 2 cents as a commercial cattleman. I personally know two big time Angus and Limouisn breeders that play fast and loose with their numbers. They back of the grass and feed in the last tri-mester, so the calves will have a small birth weight. Its the last tri-mester when a calf will get his size. After their born they put em on the best they have so you get that small bw and a good ww. I say look at the sires actual birth weight as well a his parents. If the line of cattle produce small calve it will show. Most especially if the sire has been used in different herds.
Rodney
 

la4angus

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
5,063
Reaction score
0
Location
South La
houstoncutter":1ien4c9s said:
Well here my 2 cents as a commercial cattleman. I personally know two big time Angus and Limouisn breeders that play fast and loose with their numbers. They back of the grass and feed in the last tri-mester, so the calves will have a small birth weight. Its the last tri-mester when a calf will get his size. After their born they put em on the best they have so you get that small bw and a good ww. I say look at the sires actual birth weight as well a his parents. If the line of cattle produce small calve it will show. Most especially if the sire has been used in different herds.
Rodney

EPD's are based on all the animals in the bulls ancestery that the Breed Assn. has records on plus all half,and full brithers and sisters that the assn has records on. So if a person thinks he is cutting a fat hog in the ass by trying to play with the numbers he is only fooling himself. One animals numbers is like peeing in the ocean. Lots of the carcass numbers are derived from hundreds of half brothers and sisters that have been fed for slaughter.
 

Frankie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
Ollie said "Frankie , Here is a real world situation. If I am using a Limousine bull now under which my average weaning weight for the steers is 600# what should the Angus bulls epd's be if I want to increase my weaning weight 25 additional pounds? One thing I will give epd's is they make it easier to sell bulls to people that know nothing about cattle."

A bull's EPDs will never tell you what a calf will weigh. It's impossible because there's no way to figure in the cow's contribution to WW or management. You're proof that when someone knocks EPDs it's usually because they haven't taken the time to learn how they work. One of the largest ranching operations in OK won't touch a bull without EPDs. They even want ultrasound data these days before they will pay $2-3,000 for a bull. These people know something about cattle. All EPDs will do is tell you is that calves sired by Bull A (with a WW EPD of 50) will be EXPECTED to weigh 25 more pounds at weaning than calves Sired by Bull B (with a WW of 25). Bull A & B being of the same breed. But there's nothing that will tell you what the calves will actually weigh. Anyone who tells you otherwise is pulling your leg. If you take time to read about Angus EPDs, you'll see they make no such claim.
 

ollie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
984
Reaction score
0
If weight affects dystocia and smaller birthweight is what the cattleman is after but you cannot as you said attatch a weight to an animals epd then why would the angus association recomend a bw epd of less than 3. It seems to me that you are making two arguments . From your last statement you should only be able to recomend a bw epd of 3 as compared to a 4. If there is no weight attatched to an epd as you claim then if you want 70# calves you should look also at the bulls actual bw.
 

Frankie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
ollie":2o68r65q said:
If weight affects dystocia and smaller birthweight is what the cattleman is after but you cannot as you said attatch a weight to an animals epd then why would the angus association recomend a bw epd of less than 3. It seems to me that you are making two arguments . From your last statement you should only be able to recomend a bw epd of 3 as compared to a 4. If there is no weight attatched to an epd as you claim then if you want 70# calves you should look also at the bulls actual bw.

They recommend less than 3 because bulls with a BW EPD of less than 3 are EXPECTED to sire smaller calves than bulls with BW EPD 3 or more. That does NOT tell you that the calf will weigh 70#. It merely tells you that Angus history indictes bulls with a BW EPD of less than 3 throw calves that heifers don't have trouble delivering. When I report AHIR data to the AAA, I indicate any calfing difficulty. They, of course, have EPD info on the sire and the age of the dam of all calves. I've never asked the AAA, but I believe that's what the recommendation is based on, not actual birth weights. And that recommendtion is for purebred stock. If you're breeding to crossbred or another breed, you need to take heterosis into account and possibly use an even smaller BW bull. Again, EPDs will never tell you what a calf will weigh at any time. A bull's actual BW is influenced by management and the age of his dam. A four old cow, bred to the same bull, will produce a heavier calf than she did as a heifer. A calf born in March in Montana will probably weigh more than a calf born in March in Florida from similar genetics. A cow grazing belly deep grass in east Texas will wean a heavier calf than the same cow in SW New Mexico. EPDs aren't perfect, but they're the best tool we have to compare bulls of the same breed from different programs.
 

ollie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
984
Reaction score
0
houstoncutter":o8zqnaoq said:
Well here my 2 cents as a commercial cattleman. I personally know two big time Angus and Limouisn breeders that play fast and loose with their numbers. They back of the grass and feed in the last tri-mester, so the calves will have a small birth weight. Its the last tri-mester when a calf will get his size. After their born they put em on the best they have so you get that small bw and a good ww. I say look at the sires actual birth weight as well a his parents. If the line of cattle produce small calve it will show. Most especially if the sire has been used in different herds.
Rodney
Rodney, If that were all they were doing to improve their epds in their herd I wouldn't be so hard against them. I even know of several ranches of different breeds that keep ratio individuals in their herd when they normally would have culled them. Not only does it make a farce of their epd's it hurts overall productivity of the american cow herd.In the initial stages of a bulls accuracy the epd game also descriminates against the cow herd that has less variation. Smaller breeders , closed herds, uniform bunches of cattle, these are all fair game for the larger ranches that as you said play fast and loose with their epd game.One one word Frankie (Krebs)
 

Frankie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
ollie":1wjog3za said:
houstoncutter":1wjog3za said:
Well here my 2 cents as a commercial cattleman. I personally know two big time Angus and Limouisn breeders that play fast and loose with their numbers. They back of the grass and feed in the last tri-mester, so the calves will have a small birth weight. Its the last tri-mester when a calf will get his size. After their born they put em on the best they have so you get that small bw and a good ww. I say look at the sires actual birth weight as well a his parents. If the line of cattle produce small calve it will show. Most especially if the sire has been used in different herds.
Rodney
Rodney, If that were all they were doing to improve their epds in their herd I wouldn't be so hard against them. I even know of several ranches of different breeds that keep ratio individuals in their herd when they normally would have culled them. Not only does it make a farce of their epd's it hurts overall productivity of the american cow herd.In the initial stages of a bulls accuracy the epd game also descriminates against the cow herd that has less variation. Smaller breeders , closed herds, uniform bunches of cattle, these are all fair game for the larger ranches that as you said play fast and loose with their epd game.One one word Frankie (Krebs)

Krebs got caught, too. Are you ignoring that?

As la4angus said earlier, an individual's own performance is a drop in the bucket as far as his EPDs are concerned. EPDs take performance info from his sire, dam, sisters, half sisters, brothers, half brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. The accuracy of EPDs is important. The Angus Assn starting holding that accuracy to .85 until data being reported was from multiple breeders, not just the owners. I generally don't use bulls until their accuracy is in the 90s. We're going to make an exception and try the ABS bull New Level in the spring. If anyone has any info him, good or bad, please let me know.

Why would you say that "Smaller breeders , closed herds, uniform bunches of cattle, these are all fair game for the larger ranches that as you said play fast and loose with their epd game."?
 

ollie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2004
Messages
984
Reaction score
0
I would also imagine that the AAA made mathmatical adjustments to their epd calculations because they correlated too well and were correlating better every year?
 

Frankie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
6,915
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
ollie":3n6uqo94 said:
I would also imagine that the AAA made mathmatical adjustments to their epd calculations because they correlated too well and were correlating better every year?

Typical Ollie. When you can't defend your comments (Krebs & EPDS), you insult the Angus Assn some more. The BEST thing about the AAA, as far as I'm concerned, is the way they continue to fund research and use that research to benefit the Angus breed. The Angus Board has the best interest of the breed as it's main goal. And the best interest of the breed is my best interest, too. Several years ago they adjusted the program that created scrotal EPDs. Some of the highest advertised bulls in the breed suddenly had negative scrotal EPDs. And some of their owners screamed bloody murder. One, in particular ran one and two pages ads in the Journal for months complaining about the change. But the AAA stuck to their guns and I don't doubt we're better for it today. Just because Angus EPDs are the best in the industry (IMO), doesn't mean they can't get better.
 

Latest posts

Top