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Hidden Longevity Numbers

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HerefordSire

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This could be a fundamental issue in the cattle industry. I wanted to point this out just in case there is any truth to it.

Longevity in cows seems to be very important. If I pay $1-2K, or more or less, for a good cow, I may depreciate her every year so I can recapture my cost mainly due to the fact that she will generally be worth less each and every year as her teeth wear out. Therefore, if my cost basis becomes zero as the result of her calving every year, and now all of the sudden she is 15 years old, fully depreciated and still providing a calf every year, the profit margin just for her is larger than other cows that are younger and not fully depreciated. In other words, as long as she calves an average calf every year and she is fully depreciated, more money flows into my pocket.

At this point, we should all agree that as a cow lives longer past a certain length of time, say 10 years of depreciation, she becomes more valuable because she has been fully depreciated as long as she provides an average calf.

So here we are bringing bulls in to breed to our cows. The bull looks great, has great EPD numbers, is proven, but how much information is known about the longevity?

So if I breed a bull to my cows, the future replacement's length of life is dependent upon the bull, because we have already decided the replacement's dam is going to stay, at least one more year to see if she produces a calf. Hopefully, as the replacement advances in years of life, she will always provide a calf to offet her cost. But, the bull that she shares the blood of, will dictate if she will live longer or shorter than her dam and the depreciated term she was assigned.

So here are the main questions concerning the cattle industry:

(1) How many know for sure how long the bull's ancestors lived since there is no EPD number for longevity?

(2) Why would anyone allow a bull to be by their high dollar cows unless the replacements are expected to live longer than their cow?
 

RD-Sam

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Got any pics of your older cows? :)
 

SFFarms

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I do believe longevity is very important for sustaining a cattle farm. I’m working on building my herd and I want cows that make me money, and not cost me money in the long run.

Here is a link to some information from a Angus Farm in SC that have done work on predicting longevity. The gentleman and his family have done a lot of research and even have an index on his cows. He is a very nice guy and probably could answer some of your questions.

http://www.blackgrove.com/misc.htm
 

dun

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HerefordSire":b2xcptr1 said:
(1) How many know for sure how long the bull's ancestors lived since there is no EPD number for longevity?
Red Angus has it and I think several other breeds do too. In RA is called Stayability
 

EAT BEEF

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dun":1ua20jno said:
HerefordSire":1ua20jno said:
(1) How many know for sure how long the bull's ancestors lived since there is no EPD number for longevity?
Red Angus has it and I think several other breeds do too. In RA is called Stayability

Simmental has it also.
 

talldog

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dun":3qmyes8r said:
HerefordSire":3qmyes8r said:
(1) How many know for sure how long the bull's ancestors lived since there is no EPD number for longevity?
Red Angus has it and I think several other breeds do too. In RA is called Stayability
Longhorns are also in there !! :tiphat:
 

smnherf

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[So here are the main questions concerning the cattle industry:

(1) How many know for sure how long the bull's ancestors lived since there is no EPD number for longevity?

(2) Why would anyone allow a bull to be by their high dollar cows unless the replacements are expected to live longer than their cow?

HerefordSire
/quote]

You are getting closer and closer to what many of us are saying. Epd numbers are fine and dandy, but they don't tell you about a lot of traits important to the profitability of the commercial cattleman of which longevity is one. Fertility, soundness, udder quality, mothering ability, mature cow weight, fleshing ability are a few others that drive profitability where the epds don't tell the whole story and for some breeders, the drive to improve epds tends to put focus away from these convenience traits that are absolutely necessary to the commercial cattleman.

As far as telling the history on the bulls ancestors, the performance pedigree tells the production history of the sire and the dam. I tend to avoid bulls who have dams and granddams with only 2 or 3 years of producing caves. If the cow is culled after only 2 or 3 calves, it is a red flag to me. Also, check the number of calves that the owners of the bull have and how many years they used the bull. IF they used him only a year or two, it is a red flag to me, especially if they are a large breeder.

Other than that, use bulls who are well proven and get out and talk to breeders and visit breeders who have used the bull your interested in and see how long the daughters have lasted.

Brian
 

MO_cows

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Unless your breed association uses a total herd type of fee structure and data reporting, that stayability EPD won't be worth near as much. Red Angus, Limousin, Tarentaise, AMGA all adopted it in some form when the BIF recommended it about 10 years ago. Unless complete herd reporting is involved, the most expensive or most desirable pedigreed cows in the herd are most likely to get all their calves registered and this will skew that EPD, too.

I saw an ad recently for a battery of DNA tests that included longevity. Can't understand how they could tell that from just the DNA markers, but it is on the market. I'll try to find it again and post the company.
 

mwj

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You folks must have some superior cows. i would hope to improve my cows enough to replace a whole lot of cows in 12-15 years. If age is the only thing you have to select for ,you have reached your goal :cowboy:
 
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HerefordSire

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SFFarms":3468g9cr said:
I do believe longevity is very important for sustaining a cattle farm. I’m working on building my herd and I want cows that make me money, and not cost me money in the long run.

Here is a link to some information from a Angus Farm in SC that have done work on predicting longevity. The gentleman and his family have done a lot of research and even have an index on his cows. He is a very nice guy and probably could answer some of your questions.

http://www.blackgrove.com/misc.htm

That was a very good article. Thank-you.
 
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HerefordSire

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dun":197xcnjd said:
HerefordSire":197xcnjd said:
(1) How many know for sure how long the bull's ancestors lived since there is no EPD number for longevity?
Red Angus has it and I think several other breeds do too. In RA is called Stayability


Thanks dun and others providing breed examples. It is very surprising to me that (American) Herefords do not have one. This is another example of mismanagement by the association and or largest voters. They should be ashamed.
 

whitecow

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HerefordSire":39jc1p0k said:
dun":39jc1p0k said:
HerefordSire":39jc1p0k said:
(1) How many know for sure how long the bull's ancestors lived since there is no EPD number for longevity?
Red Angus has it and I think several other breeds do too. In RA is called Stayability


Thanks dun and others providing breed examples. It is very surprising to me that (American) Herefords do not have one. This is another example of mismanagement by the association and or largest voters. They should be ashamed.

I'm not trying to defend associations for not making the effort to produce a longevity/stayability EPD, but it has become a very difficult thing to estimate. The information to generate an estimate with any degree of accuracy would have to rely heavily on relatives and pedgree estimates. As many of the animals with lots of relatives/progeny are the result of flushing donors, longevity data is greatly skewed. A donor is most often not treated like the rest of the herd in a normal environment. She may be overly pampered or her reproductive life may be cut short because of over exposure to hormones.

Without including data from donors, it becomes very difficult to get enough information to produce an estimate with any real accuracy.
 
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HerefordSire

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smnherf":3pqbux72 said:
You are getting closer and closer to what many of us are saying. Epd numbers are fine and dandy, but they don't tell you about a lot of traits important to the profitability of the commercial cattleman of which longevity is one. Fertility, soundness, udder quality, mothering ability, mature cow weight, fleshing ability are a few others that drive profitability where the epds don't tell the whole story and for some breeders, the drive to improve epds tends to put focus away from these convenience traits that are absolutely necessary to the commercial cattleman.

As far as telling the history on the bulls ancestors, the performance pedigree tells the production history of the sire and the dam. I tend to avoid bulls who have dams and granddams with only 2 or 3 years of producing caves. If the cow is culled after only 2 or 3 calves, it is a red flag to me. Also, check the number of calves that the owners of the bull have and how many years they used the bull. IF they used him only a year or two, it is a red flag to me, especially if they are a large breeder.

Other than that, use bulls who are well proven and get out and talk to breeders and visit breeders who have used the bull your interested in and see how long the daughters have lasted.

Brian

Hi Brian! One simple related question......are there any numbers represented by a breeder having open cows?
 

MO_cows

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Has anybody tried this???

IGENITY® Profile Expands to Include Analyses for Fertility, Docility and More
Comprehensive profile includes more traits significant to cow/calf producers

DULUTH, Ga. — February 5, 2008 — Merial announces the expansion of the IGENITY profile with the addition of analyses for heifer pregnancy rate, stayability (longevity), calving ease, and docility.

"This expansion of the comprehensive IGENITY profile is something cow/calf producers have been waiting for," says Dr. Stewart Bauck, Executive Director of Strategic Marketing, IGENITY. "Traits like fertility, stayability and docility are important to their success, and until now, they were difficult to measure."

With these new analyses, and those already part of the IGENITY profile, Dr. Bauck says producers can be more confident than ever before in their seedstock selection decisions.

"Since the IGENITY profile is comprehensive, producers can use it alongside traditional selection tools to better evaluate heifers and bulls at a young age for a long list of economically important traits," he explains. "The power of DNA can help producers have more confidence that they are introducing cattle that will help improve the overall genetic composition of their herd and help avoid mistakes."

In addition to heifer pregnancy rate, stayability, calving ease, and docility, the IGENITY profile includes multiple-marker analyses for tenderness, marbling, quality grade, fat thickness, ribeye area, hot carcass weight, yield grade and coat color.

Current customers of IGENITY will have the first preview of this profile expansion.

"All customers who have recently submitted samples will receive, free of charge, updated profiles for each animal profiled during that period," Dr. Bauck says. "Those updates will be distributed automatically, and all new samples received will be analyzed for all traits in the newly updated comprehensive IGENITY profile."

Dr. Bauck says the addition of heifer pregnancy rate, stayability, calving ease, weaning weight and docility to the IGENITY profile makes this technology more useful and cost-effective than ever before.

"With the new analyses available from the IGENITY profile, cow/calf producers can learn inside information to help manage these variables and increase their bottom lines," he says. "The comprehensive IGENITY profile now includes analyses that can help the entire beef production chain be more efficient and produce a more consistent end product for consumers."

In addition to genetic analyses, IGENITY offers options to perform a diagnostic test for identifying cattle persistently infected with the bovine viral diarrhea (BVD-PI) virus and identify parentage in multiple-sire settings, all from a single tissue sample. Producers also can conduct a Commercial Ranch Genetic Evaluation and determine breed-specific horned/polled status. For more information on the comprehensive IGENITY profile, visit www.IGENITY.com or call 1-877-IGENITY.

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2007 sales were nearly $2.5 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck &: Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
 
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HerefordSire

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Brandonm22":3lp1o9gd said:
Maybe I am confused. I thought the Canadian Hereford Association already had a Stayability EPD. Most of the popular sires should have a number on this.


http://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i ... 9=5B5B5D58

I think Huffhines is promised that the AHA will add the EPD sometime soon.


I am probably wrong, but after my figuring, the longer a cow lives the more profit is made, all other things being equal. Since we are guessing at how long a prospective bull will live, what do you suggest? Should we guess by adding the number of calves for the last five generations and compare to other bulls so we can err on the same side as the masses?
 
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HerefordSire

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MO_cows":23wsnyq9 said:
Unless your breed association uses a total herd type of fee structure and data reporting, that stayability EPD won't be worth near as much. Red Angus, Limousin, Tarentaise, AMGA all adopted it in some form when the BIF recommended it about 10 years ago. Unless complete herd reporting is involved, the most expensive or most desirable pedigreed cows in the herd are most likely to get all their calves registered and this will skew that EPD, too.

I saw an ad recently for a battery of DNA tests that included longevity. Can't understand how they could tell that from just the DNA markers, but it is on the market. I'll try to find it again and post the company.


Hi MO_cows! Skewed is bad but better than nothing. I just saw your last post. Thanks. Very interesting. I will study the patent.
 
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HerefordSire

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mwj":z7zvmov1 said:
You folks must have some superior cows. i would hope to improve my cows enough to replace a whole lot of cows in 12-15 years. If age is the only thing you have to select for ,you have reached your goal :cowboy:

Don't let me fool you. I may be thinking of this backwards, but the longevity and fertility should be priorities (should be the best the market has to offer becasue of the profit math), then go from there, correct?

If I am misunderstnading you, could you please explain more in depth?
 

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