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EPDs

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farmguy

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Help me to understand. I use EPDs to select my AI bulls. I realize my lack of ability to look at a bull or a picture and evaluate so many traits, so I study the EPDs, phenotype and of course my gut feelings. I also read the newest article on cattle today. I was on another forum where there was a rant against EPDs. My question is twofold. First what should a not too sharp guy like me to use if not EPDs? Second why the animosity toward EPDs? Thanks and please be nice, farmguy.
 

dun

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Witjout direct knowledge of a bull, EPDs are as good as it gets. But you have to learn what they really mean. The people that rail against them either don;t understand them, don;t understand they are a bell curve, or just have to have something to bytch about.
Just my opinion of course
 

bse

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Could be the ones ranting so do not like the way there animals EPD's are turning out.
Says your using AI bulls so most will have DNA tests or there ACC will be high. The genetic make up in cattle has more possible parings than the national debt, so there could be that 1 little thing from way back in a pedigree that presents itself in another generation causing folks to swear EPD's aren't close.
Angus probably have more DNA data turned in, so if whatever animal your looking at has DNA and ACC then EPD's are a great tool to use. But that one little thing can pop up and there's 2 sides to that calf.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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High acc bulls should have the most accurate EPD'S. A bull with no calves on the ground can't have any accuracy. Dun is wrong there is another way to see what a bull has and has not. DNA. If you want to spend a little to have a better bet get the testing done your self. One straw of semen sent to geneseek and in a few weeks you will have a your information.
 

Ebenezer

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EPDs on low accuracy cattle are merely the expected average of their entire population of offspring: high to low and ALL inbetween. DNA tests are fine if your cattle are closely linked to the individual cattle used for baseline data. Otherwise: comparing the wrong ones. But it sure looks good in a catalog. If EPDs wagged the dog, all cattle would be better now after decades with less questions. What you want in the unknown is hard to get in linecrossed animals. One reason that linebreeding is still attractive to some.
 

pdfangus

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my problem with EPDs are that they are a tool.

but people like to use them as a religion.

it is great sport to chase EPDs...

I have chased a few myself in my younger days....

Reminds me of an episode of Mountain men I saw over the weekend...they were hunting a black bear and discovered that they were looking at fresh Grizzly tracks.....

ya have to have some idea of what you are chasing and where it will take you and at what cost.....
 

crop/hail

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Some people get so wrapped up in EPD's that they cant see the fire for the smoke!! Are EPD's a useful tool? Yes, to some degree. It depends on what your trying to do with your cow herd. If you are running a registered herd or you are trying to sell replacements or actually feeding out and marketing your calves for beef then EPD's are a useful tool. If you are the average guy who has commercial cows and hauls his calves to the sale barn then you don't need to get too wrapped up in EPD's. You may look at calving ease and weaning weight but other than that, you just need to buy the best bull that you can afford. I get a laugh out of guys who look at every epd possible on a bull and pass up on a really good "Phenotype" bull to buy a POS "phenotype" that has damn good numbers!!
The other thing is that if you have commercial cows and have no idea about their epd's and you market your calves at auction then what difference does it make about the bull? Just buy the best one that you can afford.
 

backhoeboogie

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My understanding was that EPDs were living documentation. They were to be updated based on actual results versus expectations. You can find two year old ads for a bull and see that the EPDs have not changed. So you are essentially using a bad tool.

We have legislated ourselves into a corner. I'd prefer to buy a healthy disease free bull with known results versus a "certified virgin" bull.

I have also had experiences with neighbor's bulls jumping fences into my pastures so I question the entire pure bred programs entirely.

Where did those horns come from? :) LOL
 

TexasBred

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backhoeboogie":36xl56q2 said:
My understanding was that EPDs were living documentation. They were to be updated based on actual results versus expectations. You can find two year old ads for a bull and see that the EPDs have not changed. So you are essentially using a bad tool.

We have legislated ourselves into a corner. I'd prefer to buy a healthy disease free bull with known results versus a "certified virgin" bull.

I have also had experiences with neighbor's bulls jumping fences into my pastures so I question the entire pure bred programs entirely.

Where did those horns come from? :) LOL
True they're only as good as the man doing the paperwork is honest.
 

pdfangus

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everybody is looking for the calculated shortcut these days....

EPDs not backed up by honest data are pretty worthless.

the only way to get verification of carcass epds is to follow and collect data on progeny....few want to do that....

back in the old days the way to prove a bull genetically fault free was to breed him to 35 of his own daughters....have not heard of anyone doing that in over 20 years...maybe longer.
 

WalnutCrest

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Generally, the larger the operation the easier it is to justify the risk that comes from using an unproven bull.

Smaller operations news to use the most proven bull they can find.

The generational cycle is simply too long to be able to stomach the additional risk that comes from using an unproven bull. IMO.
 

Caustic Burno

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TexasBred":4aovyn9i said:
backhoeboogie":4aovyn9i said:
My understanding was that EPDs were living documentation. They were to be updated based on actual results versus expectations. You can find two year old ads for a bull and see that the EPDs have not changed. So you are essentially using a bad tool.

We have legislated ourselves into a corner. I'd prefer to buy a healthy disease free bull with known results versus a "certified virgin" bull.

I have also had experiences with neighbor's bulls jumping fences into my pastures so I question the entire pure bred programs entirely.

Where did those horns come from? :) LOL
True they're only as good as the man doing the paperwork is honest.
Nailed it I trust EPDS less today than twenty years ago that is about the time we went to if he had papers it had to be good.
 

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