How do you select the bull(s) you are going to breed to?

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novatech

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Northern Rancher":3vepgopr said:
Well first I look through cattle books and pick out the glossiest adds and order their catalogues. Then I see if they've won some pretty ribbons because the opinion of a judge from timbucktu means alot to me and ribbons look nice. Then I make sure he's had all he's wanted to eat from birth because how else can I tell he's a good one. Then he has to be in the top 1% in every trait EPD wise. It's pretty hard to go wrong this way.
It is pretty obvious that you are being facetious. I just hope it does not mean that you eliminate any bull that fits any of this criteria.
 

3waycross

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BRG":27csly4k said:
Thats what I have been trying to do for a couple months now. I am about 9 hours from home right now looking at bulls and their dams. I have been doing alot of research on the computer and the phone trying to locate the best. They must be out of a top cow family and a top cow. She must be what I want my cows to look like and produce like. She must be a deep bodied, long made, easy keeping cow who has good feet, legs,and a good tight and level udder, with nice teat size. The EPDs are important, but not a live and die deal. I purchased a semen package on a bull in January that didn't have ideal EPDs but is one of the best phenotype bulls and most sound bulls I have around the country this year. The size of the bulls range from a 5.5 to a 6.5 frame that we use. The bull himself MUST be a complete standout! He has to be thick quartered, wide topped, long, deep, and something that will take my program forward. He has to be big enough, but I don't want them to big. I have bigger cows that I breed the smaller frame bulls to and I have smaller cows that I breed the bigger bulls to. We get to AI about 75% of our cows and we use the bulls we own. I don't ussually go into a stud book and buy a batch of semen and use it. I will either buy a semen package on a bull or use one that I raise and buy. If I put a pile of money into one, then I am going to use him hard.

Well put Brian. I hope everyone on here read this post and thought about what you have to say. It's a pretty darned good blueprint for success.
 

Northern Rancher

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Any of the above eliminates them from my sire search. Showing cattle is so divorced from reality-overfeeding cattle ruins them for practical conditions and EPD extremes in ANY trait other than soundness just doesn't work. There are successful outfits that do and select on all three-I'm sure they'll thrive and survive without my pittance.
 

Aero

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novatech":3oszc3oh said:
I just hope it does not mean that you eliminate any bull that fits any of this criteria.

guaranteed to be eliminated.
 

thommoos

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Location? then disposition, You can ALway find the right bull with the Good EPD's question is does he scare the bejesus out of you when you go in the pen. I like Beefmasters, But I am in the deep south, Red AngusHerford for the North
 
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cbcr

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Just re-read thru the post on here, some good comments. I can agree that "low accuracy EPD's " are questionable, but what about if the sire and dam have good EPD's? What do you think about the DNA test for some of these traits?

One thing that seems to be the most common here is everyone is concerned about weights, (yes I know that pounds is what makes the money), but what about the carcass traits, do any of you take that into consideration?

I know it has been said that feed can do alot when it comes to finishing the cattle, but with only about 45% or less of the animals grading Prime (about 3%) or Choice, and if the cattle are all fed the same, it only seems that genetics would also have to play a role in carcass grade.

I have spoke to 2 or 3 seedstock producers that made the comment that the ONLY reason they even register their bulls is to get EPD's on them. They feel it is a waste of money because most of the buyers of their bulls view the registration papers as "Charmin". These aren't small breeders either.

I know that there are both seedstock and commercial producers on here, please comment.
 

KNERSIE

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Just re-read thru the post on here, some good comments. I can agree that "low accuracy EPD's " are questionable, but what about if the sire and dam have good EPD's? What do you think about the DNA test for some of these traits?

The most important thing when using unproven EPDs is to go and look in previous generations where the good EPDs came from. If it is good going back several generations you can use them with reasonable confidence, but if it shows that the "good" EPDs was a result of corrective matings then you are as likely to get either extreme as you are to get the good in between.
 

novatech

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Northern Rancher":3tdt6k0s said:
Any of the above eliminates them from my sire search. Showing cattle is so divorced from reality-overfeeding cattle ruins them for practical conditions and EPD extremes in ANY trait other than soundness just doesn't work. There are successful outfits that do and select on all three-I'm sure they'll thrive and survive without my pittance.
So just to get this straight, If I bought a bull calf from you, fed him to be over fat, put all the other lipstick on him, showed him, won world champion. Then took a lot of fancy pics., advertised the heck out of him, etc., that somewhere along the way his genetics changed and is no longer fit to be a sire you would pick for your own herd, and advise others from doing so.????? :???:
Selection for show cattle is made with the same criteria as cattle that will never be shown and only used for replacement stock. Sure there are bulls that win and would not make good breeding stock but they also would not be sell a lot of semen in the long run. I have used semen from several International grand champions and proven beyond the shadow if a doubt that the progeny will hold up in the most sever conditions efficiently, without supplement.
 

novatech

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cbcr said:
Just re-read thru the post on here, some good comments. I can agree that "low accuracy EPD's " are questionable, but what about if the sire and dam have good EPD's? What do you think about the DNA test for some of these traits?
I have never been able to afford the risk of being the test subject for unproven genetics. To me there is plenty of semen available that has withstood the test of time and fit my criteria. I may be loosing out in some good genetics but would rather put my money on better odds.
One thing that seems to be the most common here is everyone is concerned about weights, (yes I know that pounds is what makes the money),Around here purebred breeder seemed to place the most emphasis on birth weight. To me this is to much a single trait selection. I have noticed those that are doing this are also producing mostly slow maturing calves.
but what about the carcass traits, do any of you take that into consideration?
Carcass evaluation to me is proof of EPD's and another tool in the box for selection. I know it has been said that feed can do alot when it comes to finishing the cattle, but with only about 45% or less of the animals grading Prime (about 3%) or Choice, and if the cattle are all fed the same, it only seems that genetics would also have to play a role in carcass grade.
A lot of what one selects for is dependant on how their marketing is done. If the calves are sold through the sale barn the carcass evaluation will add little to the value. If they are directly marketed then carcass evaluation could play a vital role.
I have spoke to 2 or 3 seedstock producers that made the comment that the ONLY reason they even register their bulls is to get EPD's on them. They feel it is a waste of money because most of the buyers of their bulls view the registration papers as "Charmin". These aren't small breeders either.
Only because they are ignorant as to what genetic evaluation can mean to them with the end product and the final line $.
I know that there are both seedstock and commercial producers on here, please comment.
Something that I have noticed with cattle people is that with some of the cattlemen that have been in the business for a long time, they resist new ways of doing things. Today we have a lot of people getting into the business that know nothing, the egghead type with extra money to spend. They dive into all the current research and in some ways are an improvement for the industry just because they are not stuck in the mud.
Although cattle prices are high everything else is going up along with it. So really things are about the same and may in fact be getting tougher. I believe those that keep up with the information that is available, all the tools in the box, will gain the edge they need to stay in business.[/
quote]
 

Northern Rancher

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Novatech that is probably the funniest analogy I've ever heard you've made my day. I doubt I would use him though-describe when you calve, where you calve so I can judge how severe your conditions are. I doubt they is a fitter good enough to pretty up one of my uglies to finish 50th in a class of 49!
 

SRBeef

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KNERSIE":d7uucn6u said:
Just re-read thru the post on here, some good comments. I can agree that "low accuracy EPD's " are questionable, but what about if the sire and dam have good EPD's? What do you think about the DNA test for some of these traits?

The most important thing when using unproven EPDs is to go and look in previous generations where the good EPDs came from. If it is good going back several generations you can use them with reasonable confidence, but if it shows that the "good" EPDs was a result of corrective matings then you are as likely to get either extreme as you are to get the good in between.

This is an interesting point. "Good" but low accuracy EPD's can originate from recent corrective matings OR they can result from similar "Good" EPD's from a bull's previous generations.

I have taken a fair amount of criticism from some folks here on the "low accuracy" of my former bull's (Huth Coop T021 reg# 42812075) "Good" EPD's and have learned from that. T021's low accuracy is likely to remain that way since neither I nor the Angus operation now using him to make baldies have registered any calves from him.

However the number one bull criteria for me is calving ease since I am often not around my cattle at calving time for a few days at a time. Jerry Huth originally suggested this bull for me mostly on that criteria. Looking back through T21's pedigree though, there is calving ease on the top side quite a ways back through 9126J, 3008, 767G as well as not bad on the bottom side.

So I agree with Knersie's comment about low accuracy EPD's but that come from and through a pedigree seem to be still valuable, at least in an area such as calving ease which is hard to see visually. T021's calving ease seems to have carried through to him although I am probably jinxing myself with his current group of calves due to start in a week or so.

What the EPD's don't show is the conformation. And while T21 was not bad, I really like my current Huth bull, U070 (#43022886), who is a half brother to T021 and shares the same pedigree top side calving ease etc, but has a smaller frame size and what I now see as a "beefier" conformation.

Point is as Knersie points out the EPD's seem to be valuable (and likely to carry through) even though low accuracy IF they come from the deep in the pedigree rather than a single, more contrived, EPD-oriented mating. However the EPD's do not give you the visual conformation, frame size, and what I see as "beefy" structure and ability to do it without a hot special bull feed ration.

Here is a picture of my current U070 bull to illustrate what I am talking about in conformation. His growth EPD's aren't quite what T021's are but the calving ease and others are still there along with good feet, some beef, lower, longer frame and the ability to do it on just hay and mineral all winter. U070:

IMG_2987_Bullheadingforfreshhayaheadofsnowstorm_013111_640.jpg


An interesting and educational discussion.

I guess I am one of the numbers-oriented newbies referred to with some disdain above in this thread but I think I am getting closer to understanding at least a part of this business. BTW, to show his offspring, here is a picture of a couple of T021's steers in corn from yesterday. They are coming along. I am looking forward to seeing if they are closer to my 1100 lb goal in late April. From the looks of the manure on the ground they should be WELL marbled.

IMG_3145_steersinfreshcorn45daysbeforeprocessing031111.jpg


Thank you.

Jim
 
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cbcr

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I have taken a fair amount of criticism from some folks here on the "low accuracy" of my former bull's (Huth Coop T021 reg# 42812075) "Good" EPD's and have learned from that. T021's low accuracy is likely to remain that way since neither I nor the Angus operation now using him to make baldies have registered any calves from him.

Why is it that EPD's are based only on purebred animals? (except carcass, which uses commercial animals too.)

What would happen to EPD accuracy if animals from non-registered parents were used in evaluations? The dairy industry does, what are your opinions pro or con on the same thing in the beef industry?
 

Northern Rancher

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What I'd like to see instead of bulls being overfed to supposedly see how their genetics perform-bull sellers should buy a pen or two of feeder calves from their genetics and feed them out. Live in breathe in a commercial ranchers shoes. A closeout means more to me than a carcass epd.
 

dun

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cbcr":2mowgtm7 said:
I have taken a fair amount of criticism from some folks here on the "low accuracy" of my former bull's (Huth Coop T021 reg# 42812075) "Good" EPD's and have learned from that. T021's low accuracy is likely to remain that way since neither I nor the Angus operation now using him to make baldies have registered any calves from him.

Why is it that EPD's are based only on purebred animals? (except carcass, which uses commercial animals too.)

What would happen to EPD accuracy if animals from non-registered parents were used in evaluations? The dairy industry does, what are your opinions pro or con on the same thing in the beef industry?
The Red Angus associaiton uses them if you submit them.
 

novatech

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Northern Rancher":3tz6683g said:
What I'd like to see instead of bulls being overfed to supposedly see how their genetics perform-bull sellers should buy a pen or two of feeder calves from their genetics and feed them out. Live in breathe in a commercial ranchers shoes. A closeout means more to me than a carcass epd.
Which brings up a question. Does the progeny affect the EPD's of the dam and sire?
 

VanC

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novatech":1m6kvsmz said:
Northern Rancher":1m6kvsmz said:
What I'd like to see instead of bulls being overfed to supposedly see how their genetics perform-bull sellers should buy a pen or two of feeder calves from their genetics and feed them out. Live in breathe in a commercial ranchers shoes. A closeout means more to me than a carcass epd.
Which brings up a question. Does the progeny affect the EPD's of the dam and sire?

Very much so. That's why they are recalculated, and usually change, every so often. The more data that comes in on progeny and other relatives, the higher the accuracy.
 

dun

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VanC":15brehhl said:
novatech":15brehhl said:
Northern Rancher":15brehhl said:
What I'd like to see instead of bulls being overfed to supposedly see how their genetics perform-bull sellers should buy a pen or two of feeder calves from their genetics and feed them out. Live in breathe in a commercial ranchers shoes. A closeout means more to me than a carcass epd.
Which brings up a question. Does the progeny affect the EPD's of the dam and sire?

Very much so. That's why they are recalculated, and usually change, every so often. The more data that comes in on progeny and other relatives, the higher the accuracy.
As a frnstnce: We have a coe that had a 80 lb calf (third calf) that calf was 115% ration for that herd. Her calving ease went from +3 to zero the calfs CE went to -1. If you just do the EPD calculations without the effect of the high ratio the cows CE stayed at 3 and the calfs CE was also 3.
Since the bull was in the .8 accuracy it didn;t affect his.
 
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cbcr

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EPD accuracy.

EPD’s are calculated using complex formulas and models, using several pieces of information on an animal in the calculations. Information collected to calculate EPD's includes performance data on the animal, (birth, weaning, yearling and other measurements), and pedigree information (sire, dam, grand-sires, great grand-sires, maternal grand-sires, etc), collateral relatives, (bothers and sisters), and progeny (including progeny that are parents themselves). All performance data that relates to the animal are used and these records are adjusted for factors such as age and sex of the animal and age of the dam. All adjustment factors allow these performance records to be compared accurately in the calculations. Superior or inferior mates influence progeny records. The statistical analysis used for calculations also takes into account effects of environment (nutrition, climate, geographical location, etc.) that exists between herds. These environmental factors can be estimated because of the use of artificial insemination which, allows the same bull to be used in numerous herds across the country creating a genetic link between herds.

So if someone has a cow that was sired by a herd bull only in their herd and has an outstanding calf, the EPD of that calf is going to be affected. But if that same cow was AI sired as an example by a bull that has offspring in 50 herds then the EPD accuracy is going to be higher. The same hold true for a bull with offspring, calves in one herd= low accuracy, calves in 10 herds=a higher accuracy.
 

novatech

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cbcr":2ntozhhd said:
EPD accuracy.

EPD’s are calculated using complex formulas and models, using several pieces of information on an animal in the calculations. Information collected to calculate EPD's includes performance data on the animal, (birth, weaning, yearling and other measurements), and pedigree information (sire, dam, grand-sires, great grand-sires, maternal grand-sires, etc), collateral relatives, (bothers and sisters), and progeny (including progeny that are parents themselves). All performance data that relates to the animal are used and these records are adjusted for factors such as age and sex of the animal and age of the dam. All adjustment factors allow these performance records to be compared accurately in the calculations. Superior or inferior mates influence progeny records. The statistical analysis used for calculations also takes into account effects of environment (nutrition, climate, geographical location, etc.) that exists between herds. These environmental factors can be estimated because of the use of artificial insemination which, allows the same bull to be used in numerous herds across the country creating a genetic link between herds.

So if someone has a cow that was sired by a herd bull only in their herd and has an outstanding calf, the EPD of that calf is going to be affected. But if that same cow was AI sired as an example by a bull that has offspring in 50 herds then the EPD accuracy is going to be higher. The same hold true for a bull with offspring, calves in one herd= low accuracy, calves in 10 herds=a higher accuracy.
All the more reason to use older, proven, and high percentage accuracy bulls. Even if they had their picture taken. :nod:

I have another question. When making the choice on a bull for crosbreeding would you get more hybred vigor using a line bred bull on line bred cows? And then what would be the effect of crossing non related progeny?
 
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cbcr

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I have another question. When making the choice on a bull for crosbreeding would you get more hybred vigor using a line bred bull on line bred cows? And then what would be the effect of crossing non related progeny?

Linebreeding is a form of inbreeding in which an attempt is made to concentrate the inheritance of some favored ancestor in descendants within a herd. The average relationship of the individuals in the herd to this ancestor is increased by linebreeding, but at the cost of an increased level of inbreeding.

While a linebred animal can be important in the creation of a composite animal. As in the difinition above a linebred animal is bred for certain desirable trait(s) and with the breeding concentration it is expected that that trait is above average for consistency.

But in the case of (Composite, Hybrid, Crossbred) animals hybrid vigor is much higher when unrelated animals are mated.
 

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