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2017 Shorthorn Youth Expo

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Days to Calving EBV

A+ Cows

The Days to Calving EBV is a measure of female fertility, and as such is a tremendously important trait to be measured within a maternal breed such as Shorthorns.

Balancing performance and carcass quality with maternal efficiency is critical for breeding programs today, Days to Calving (DtC) gives Shorthorn breeders a tremendous tool to assist in achieving these aims.

Reproductive performance is paramount for any breeding program, it affects both cost of production and revenue. A key requirement of every breeding female is the ability to conceive quickly post calving, carry the calf through gestation, deliver a live calf and raise it until weaning, within every 12-month period of her life.

An essential component of reproductive performance is the fertility of the breeding herd. Whilst many breeders manage fertility through management strategies and culling procedures, fertility must also be managed through genetic input. DtC provides a measure of evaluation that will assist breeders to achieve genetic improvement in fertility.

The Days to Calving EBV is an estimate of genetic differences between animals in the time from the start of the joining period (when the female is introduced to the bull) until subsequent calving. Days to Calving EBVs are expressed in days and are calculated from the joining records submitted for both heifers and cows.

The Days to Calving EBV promotes females that calve earlier in the calving season and deliver a calf every year.

Lower, or more negative Days to Calving EBVs are generally more favourable. For example, a bull with a Days to Calving EBV of -5 days would be expected to produce daughters that conceive earlier in the joining period than the daughters of a bull with a Days to Calving EBV of +5 days. Females with shorter Days to Calving EBVs also tend to be those that reach puberty earlier as heifers and return to estrous earlier after calving.

Breeders submitting joining information for inclusion in the Days to Calving EBV need to record all ‘events’ associated with the natural joining of their females from the start of the mating period in each breeding season through to when the subsequent calves are born. Broadly, this includes:
1. Joining details of all females naturally mated within the herd.
2. Details of all females removed from the herd, particularly those present at joining that were no longer within the herd by the time of the subsequent calving.
3. Details of all calves (dead or alive) that are born as a result of these joinings.

Days to Calving data can be submitted to Shorthorn BREEDPLAN using the Microsoft Excel, available here, ‘Template for Submitting Joining Information’. Alternatively, herds which use a BREEDPLAN compatible herd recording software package should be able to extract the joining details from their computer program and submit the details to Shorthorn BREEDPLAN electronically. It is critical that members use either of these formats to submit their Days to Calving data, and not the SH2 Registration forms, supplied by Shorthorn Beef, for registering calves.
Importantly, to be included in the Shorthorn GROUP BREEDPLAN analysis, the Days to Calving information needs to be submitted directly to Shorthorn BREEDPLAN. Electronic submissions should be sent via email to " target="_blank">

Paper submissions, if necessary, may be submitted to the Shorthorn Beef office and will be forwarded to Shorthorn Breedplan on your behalf. If you have any further queries regarding Days to Calving, please contact the Shorthorn Beef office.

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About Shorthorn

The Shorthorn breed is truly unique, from their distinctive roan colour, to their rich breed history and most importantly, the wonderful community of breeders, there is nothing else quite like a Shorthorn.

The key to the Shorthorn breeds advantage lies in their balanced genetic profile, driven by market participation that has been developed and refined, after more than 200 years of genetic selection under Australian conditions.

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