Our herdsire prospects are currently on test at the Maritime Beef Test Station in Nappan, Nova Scotia. Sale date is Saturday, April 1st at 1:00pm at the Test Station. Stay tuned for the final performance report and the sale eligibility list which will be posted in mid to late March.
Click on the drop-down menu under the Bulls for Sale tab for pics and specs on each of the 8 bulls up for offer.
Performance Reports: 84 Day Report – February 16, 2017
What are the current EPD averages for the Charolais breed?
For the complete report, including an explanation of each trait, click here.
How important is it to select a bull with a low birth weight? Is birth weight the same as calving ease?
Selecting bulls that will ensure calving ease is more complex than just selecting bulls with low birth weight EPDs. Sire Calving Ease (CE) measures the tendency of calves from a particular service sire to be born more or less easily. The birthweight of the sire is a factor in determining calving ease, but it isn’t the only one. Both maternal and paternal genetics play a role in calving ease (CE).
A producer must also ask how over-emphasizing low birth weights influences other production traits such as weaning weight and average daily gain.
For starters, the maternal/placenta interaction, maternal diet and environmental climate and temperature all have varying influences on birth weight and gestation length of calves. A mature cow should be able to produce and give birth to a calf that is the equivalent to 7% of her body mass. To put this in perspective, a mature Charolais cow weighs on average 1600 lbs, so we would expect her calf to be upwards of 112 lbs. However, this doesn’t mean that a 1300 lb cow bred the same way will also have a 112 lb calf.
Research suggests that selecting for birth weight EPDs alone can have a negative impact on a cow-calf operation’s bottom line. That’s because selecting for low birth weights is antagonistic to selecting for growth performance. Consequently, emphasizing calving ease EPDs in selection rather than birth weight EPDs may offer greater dividends by allowing for the selection of calving ease and growth performance at the same time.
Although lighter calves at birth tend to be born easier, they are often lighter at weaning, too. Predictably, the heavier calves at birth tend to be the heaviest ones at weaning and yearling time. It’s hard to deny the advantage of extra pounds at these stages; more pounds equals a bigger pay cheque.
So, placing more selection pressure on a sire’s calving ease EPD rather than birth weight is less antagonistic to growth traits. Bottom line: this suggests that a producer can maintain an acceptable live calf crop percentage without sacrificing growth performance by focusing more on calving ease than birth weight when it comes to sire selection.
The current Calving Ease (CE) EPD for the Charolais breed is 70.5. So, any bull with a CE EPD higher than this number means it is above breed average for calving ease. For example, Cornerstone Dallas 1D has a CE EPD of 99.5. His birthweight was 96lbs, but he is predicted to be in the top 2% of bulls in the breed for calving ease.
What’s with the shaved patches on the sides of the bulls at the Test Station?
Ultrasound measurements are collected at 3 points on the animal.
1. Percentage of Intramuscular Fat
2.Ribeye area & Backfat
3. Rump Fat
Learn more here: Article: Using Live Animal Carcass Ultrasounding in Beef Cattle