Thursday, 2 June 2011


EPD’s are just one of may tools used in selecting cattle .  They show expected performance of an individual and allows breeders to compare cattle of the same Contemporary Group. They evaluate traits such as growth related traits (BW, WW, YW, Milk), carcass traits (REA, FAT,)  and reproductive efficiency ( CE, MCE)

 Benefits of EPD’s:
üHelp determine the breeding value of future progeny.
üThey allow a fair comparison to be made  by eliminating environmental factors such as climate, management and feed.
üAre the best tool available to compare animals in different  herds, countries or of different ages.
How to use EPS:
EPDs are used to compare animals by comparing that animal to an average. Averages are created every year and give a guide line of what to look for in an ideal animal. 
When selecting for
üCalving Ease you would look at an animals EPDs and compare their number to the average (4.5)  and aim for being as close to average as possible.
üTotal maternal traits are made up of : TM EPD = Milk EPD + 1/2 (WW EPD) . You compare the TM on the animals EPDs to the average (31). Keep in mind average is ideal but above average is superior.
üThe carcass make up of an animal consists of may different components such as REA, MRB and FAT. Each of these components can be compared to the years average to make up an animals carcass value.
Explanation of terms:Contemporary Group: A contemporary group is a group of calves that were born in the same year and season, in the same herd, of the same sex and were managed alike. The differences in performance among those calves are mostly genetic, because all those calves were exposed to the same environment.

BW: Birth Weight
WW: Weaning Weight
YW : Yearling Weight
MK: Milk
TM: Total Maternal
CE: Calving Ease
REA: Rib Eye Area
MRB: Marbling Score
STAY: Stayability (predicts the probability that a bull's daughters will remain in the herd until at least six years of age.)

1 comment:

  1. This was very informative Becky, I appreciate the time you took to explain things thoroughly!!