Estimated Breeding Values: What Are Their Importance in Angus Cattle Breeding?

Blog | April 18th, 2019

Angus cattle producers must utilise all possible means to raise a healthy, productive herd. Part of the tools that they have at their disposal today to help them accomplish this successfully include the estimated breeding values that BREEDPLAN offers as examples for the producers to follow with their own herds. These values help the producers analyse their animals in order to select only the best of the herd for breeding purposes.

Explanation of BREEDPLAN

BREEDPLAN is the latest in genetic evaluation processes for Angus cattle. It provides the opportunity for farmers to enhance the genetic progress of their animals, improve their breeding methods and increase productivity of the animals. As a result of all of these benefits, the Angus farmers also will receive a higher price for their cattle.

What Are Estimated Breeding Values?

BREEDPLAN utilises the latest genetic evaluation system that is based on Best Linear Unbiased Prediction or BLUP technology to discover the estimated breeding values or EBVs of the recorded Angus cattle. These values include a wide assortment of crucial production traits, such as carcase, weight, fertility, and more. While you cannot determine the true breeding value of any Angus animal, you can estimate it. That is where the EBVs are useful. The EBVs of a singular animal are stated as the difference between its genetics and those of the animal it is compared with for evaluation purposes.

Traits That the EBVs Include

EBVs analyse a wide array of traits that have an economic influence on the success of the herd. Currently, these traits include:

• Weight traits include birth weight, 200-day growth, 400-day weight, 600-day growth, mature weight of a cow and milk
• Fertility and calving traits analyse the scrotal six, gestations length, days to calving and calving ease
• Carcase traits are fat depth, eye muscle area, retail beef yield, carcase weight, intramuscular fat, and shear force
• Other traits include docility, structural soundness, flight time and net feed intake

How Accurate Are EBVs?

Angus females and males may perform either worse or better than the EBVs predict, but on average, the estimated breeding values are reliable indicators of the herd’s genetics. The accuracy of these values, though, is dependent upon reliable record keeping of all traits. When producers use EBVs in raising their herds, they substantially increase their chances for success.

For further facts about the importance of the estimated breeding values, contact Southfork Angus. We are experts at producing top-quality Angus seedstock here in the Mornington Peninsula. All of our animals come with a guarantee that they will be high producers.

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