BREEDPLAN and the Bull buyer
Shorthorn BREEDPLAN provides a modern genetic evaluation tool for bull buyers, designed to provide estimates for expected progeny performance. It is important to remember, when using EBVs that only half the EBV differences between animals will be passed on through progeny. This is because each animal only contributes half of the expected genetic gain in each mating.
Example: 400-day Wt EBV
BULL 1 +48 kg
BULL 2 +24 kg
Expected difference in 400 day weight:
½ x (48 kg – 24 kg) = 12 kg per calf (expected difference)
Total gain over 3 years of use, with 30 calves per year (as example):
30 calves x 3 years x 12 kg = 1080 kg difference.
There is also the added benefit from daughters which will flow onto their progeny.
It is also important to realise that not all EBVs should be selected for maximum values. Understanding your herds requirements from Maternal, Terminal and Environmental performance is important for selecting Shorthorn sires to achievable your overall production requirements. It is also important to understand the average EBVs for Shorthorn cattle born in that year to compare when making selections.
Accuracies are also an important consideration when making selections.
Below are links to Shorthorn breed percentiles and useful exercises to help strengthen your understanding of using Shorthorn EBVs.
Shorthorn Beef Indexes are designed to provide a “balanced” approach to selecting Shorthorn sires for various market requirements. The Indexes are developed using BreedObject software and are created by analysing all available Shorthorn EBVs for each animal, with a weighting on certain EBVs, depending on the economic relevance towards the specific target market.
There are three Shorthorn Beef Indexes; Domestic Maternal, Export Maternal and Northern Maternal. It is important before using Shorthorn Beef Indexes, that you are familiar with each index and their relevance to your program.
Making your selection
Shorthorn Beef EBVs and Indexes are powerful tools designed to assist buyers make more informed decisions and to tailor their selections to their requirements more effectively.
It is important however to remember that whilst these tools are a valuable addition, there are other considerations to make regarding the economic relevance of your selections to your program. Visual inspections for type which should also include structural soundness, fertility and temperament are also extremely important and should not be overlooked.