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EPD's

Double R Ranch

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How many of you actually breed and run your operations on EPD's. After several problems just recently with the angus breed (which we have) it got me thinking about how many family trees I am seeing with the same sires and dams over and over again. Sometimes in the same animal.
The local AI breeder I spoke to recently said that he completely ignores EPD. Found that they were not accurate to what offspring he was seeing.
Just want some other thoughts about EPD's.
Double R
 

KNERSIE

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Its just one more tool in the box, if used wisely and with a good understanding of how they are derived and what they actually mean it is invaluable especially to improve specific traits, but it cannot replace the other fascets of good stockmanship. To use EPDs or any other form of information instead of selecting holisticly is as foolish as single trait selection.
 

Frankie

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Double R Ranch":f531y65w said:
How many of you actually breed and run your operations on EPD's. After several problems just recently with the angus breed (which we have) it got me thinking about how many family trees I am seeing with the same sires and dams over and over again. Sometimes in the same animal.
The local AI breeder I spoke to recently said that he completely ignores EPD. Found that they were not accurate to what offspring he was seeing.
Just want some other thoughts about EPD's.
Double R

We don't "run" our operation EPDs, but would never even consider using a bull (Angus) that didn't have AT LEAST breed average EPDs. EPDs don't have anything to do with linebreeding (using the same sires and dams over and over again).

EPDs are an important tool for us. We want to use bulls with good, high accuracy EPDs. We like to see sons of the bulls we're considering using.
 

dun

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We use EPDs for either the first or last cut on all bulls and cows. The EPDs have to fall within a range that we find acceptable and at least 2 generations before for low accuracy animals must fall within the range.
Some EPDs have more weight assigned to thewm then others. For termianl bulls I could care less about milk daughters calving ease but they have to have average to above WW, YW, and carcass traits. For maternal bulls they must have at least acceptable WW, YW, and carcass traits but must also hit our target for daughers calving eae, stayability, maintenance energy, milk, etc.
 

SRBeef

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dun":26g2ygbx said:
We use EPDs for either the first or last cut on all bulls and cows. The EPDs have to fall within a range that we find acceptable and at least 2 generations before for low accuracy animals must fall within the range.
Some EPDs have more weight assigned to thewm then others. For termianl bulls I could care less about milk daughters calving ease but they have to have average to above WW, YW, and carcass traits. For maternal bulls they must have at least acceptable WW, YW, and carcass traits but must also hit our target for daughers calving eae, stayability, maintenance energy, milk, etc.

I'm a newcomer but think I'll follow Dun's approach in the future. Except EPD's will be my first cut, not the last.

As a smaller-herd, one-bull operation (and probably always will be) I have come to grips with the fact that I am probably going to have to buy a new bull every couple years. My #1 selection criteria will always have to be calving ease and that is just something you can't see in a bull's conformation. You need data. And since I will be buying yearling bulls, those EPD's will always necessarily be low accuracy.

So it seems to me that those EPD's need to come from a reputable source or they don't mean squat.

A yearling bull with good calving ease and other EPD's is where I will start from now on.

I hear many times here on this board that EPD's don't seem to mean much. My experience so far is that they mean a lot. As I watch my bull's first calf crop growing it looks to me like they very much reflect his EPD's* at least as far as I can tell at this point. jmho.

Jim

* EPD's: http://www.herfnet.com/online/cgi-b...E2F0B1E1D1B2AE5380505353CE30E0F080E0C0D151601
 

dun

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SRBeef":111cm8zr said:
I'm a newcomer but think I'll follow Dun's approach in the future. Except EPD's will be my first cut, not the last.

A yearling bull with good calving ease and other EPD's is where I will start from now on.
The last cut is if I'm looking at cattle and don;t have their registration numbers or EPDs before hand, maybe just their pedigree.
For yearling bulls, the I or P for accuracy could just as well mean SWAG. Look back at his parents and their parents. There may be a boogeyman hiding in there. That yealring could be from a breeding where one parent is plus 10 for calving ease and the other is minus 10. That would make the bull a zero. The zero is bad enough, but that minus 10 can jump up and bite you.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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"Generally" speaking, if someone says that EPD's are worthless - either they don't understand them or don't want to understand them.
They are a crutial TOOL in our operation. I was just downstairs looking at our bull prospects' registration papers, checking their EPD's to see if there were any MAJOR holes in them. We are getting ready to work calves & will be doing our major castrating, leaving only the "creme of the crop". So, they need to have the right phenotype and the numbers to back them up (actual BW - current WPDA & EPD's). (I already KNOW they have the right pedigree :banana: )
 

edrsimms

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Simmentals:
We have built a really good herd of cows using EPD's, but that isn't all we look at. We have noticed over the years that cow families perform better than others, so we continue those exceptional lines looking back 2 or 3 generations to see what the building blocks were for such success. Then we build around it as most times it is worth a look back to see what the foundation was:

A good example of this is to go back and look at Leachman 600U (back several generations you will see a foundation Dam 1/4 Hereford 3/4 Angus)

First, these particular guidelines trump all the other ones (EPD's) for choosing which individuals to keep like: is this individual structurally correct, do they have a good disposition, Frame score, color (red should be really red (we have no old fleckview red-diluters), ect...

Then we breed to balance all EPD's: averages for PB Simm are: CE = 6.5 BW= 1.3 WW= 32; YW = 57 MCE = 2.5 MM = 4.4 IMF = .13
BF - 0.03 etc etc API = 101 TI = 61

Since we sell 90% of our Bulls to commercial cattlemen and women we ask them --What are you looking for? The answer is interesting.

If they are selling them at weaning they want: great calving ease, birth weight and exceptional WW EPD's (and that is all)

If they are a cow/calf-- stocker operation they want great CE BW WW and YW EPD's (and that is all)

Not one mention of why we are ALL in this business yet >>>> "BEEF" as this doesn't happen, sadly,until the individual starts thinking about meat.

If they are retaining ownership of their calves all the way through the system they want everything CE BW WW YW IMF BF REA ......
Some well informed cattlemen just buy bulls with a high Terminal Index (which represents higher probablilty for carcass values)...
Every year, this Rancher I know in North Dakota travels all the way to Georgia and buys all our bulls with high TI.

Therefore, we use EPD's and API and TI to balance all traits across the board and never just pick 2 or 3 to improve on.
In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, Bull calves that had below the Average EPD's in any one category were castrated, period, no exceptions.

We castrated some bulls that had API's of 118 and TI's of 69. When you venture thru ABS take a gander at some of the garbage they are offering for $20+ a straw and you will see why only the unimformed are buying some of that junk.

Our Bulls are foraged tested and will perform on grass because there is a high probability that Rancher X is gonna take them home and throw them out on some kind of forage and expect them to perform well. Forage tested Bulls walk off the trailer "ready to get after it".
Hard culling of Bulls have done one thing for us: Example
Typical SImm Bull offered for sale here have the following numbers:
Rank in the Top 5% for CE EPD
Rank in the Top 5% for BW EPD
Rank in the Top 10% for WW EPD
Rank in the Top 10% for the MCE EPD
Rank in the Top 10% for YW EPD
Rank in the Top 10% for Carcass Weight EPD
Rank in the Top 10 % for Yield Grade EPD
Rank in the Top 5 % for Marbling EPD
Rank in the Top 15 % for Back Fat EPD
Rank in the Top 15% for REA EPD
Rank in the Top 20% for Shear Force
Rank in the Top 1% for API (136) (We castrate Bulls under 120) (Average API in 2009 is 137)
Rank in the Top 1 % for TI (73) (We castrate bulls under 70) (Average TI in 2009 is 78)
All Bulls have a 3rd party Structural soundness exam prior to sale and a breeding soundness exam where progressive germ cell counts are a minimum of 90%. And Frame Score Below 6.3.
We just sit back out of the limelight and let our numbers and performance speak for themselves.

Heifers are another can of worms and I will comment on that if anyone is interested.

Bottom line is that EPD's are a good Tool for improving your cattle....................
 

grubbie

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I like to look at the info in the EPD, but I don't live and die by it by any means. If I like the look of the bull, but the EPD is less than stellar, I will probably ignore the EPD and purchase the bull. If I like the EPD, but don't like the look of the bull, Again I will probably ignore the EPD, and NOT purchase the bull. The EPD may influence my decisions in a herd bull purchase, but only in a small way. For a heifer bull, however, I will live and die by that BW number, no matter what any other number says, including weaning weight. I'm sure if I were raising registered stock or a commercial feeder operation I would pay more attention.
 

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