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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Fertility revisited   Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:00 pm

We have discussed fertility a good bit; varying opinions as how to approach it; I even have a different definition than RobertMac...imagine that  Smile anyway, a Uruguay reader upon reading some of our discussions has send me this message...

I have read a small part of a very interesting discussion in your discussion
group in the web site. Although I feel like an intruder now, I would like to
share with you a scientific paper published in the Journal of Animal Science
in USA by an Uruguayan specialist and colleagues. They studied the
population of Uruguayan registered Angus cattle and ended up with the
conclusion that, under Uruguayan restrictive environment, dam fertility
traits like days to calving or calving success have much higher heritability
than that reported before in more controlled environments. If that is true,
then we can make faster improvements selecting for better fertility under
Uruguayan conditions or any other harsh conditions where cattle is bred. If
you see in that paper, the heritability of such traits is really higher than
we ever thought it would be.



I have included only the abstract portion of the research; anyone wishing to read the complete paper can email me...I invited our reader to post; but he was unsure of his English language skills...I`m sure they are superb compared to my  research language skills ...Megan and Gavin have given us a NZ breeding and environment perspective; I would sure enjoy a Uruguayan perspective of genetic selection...both maternal and end product...


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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:09 am

It has been my experience since takeing over the herd management from dad that if you remove animals that fail to get bred, fail to give birth, or raise a calf to weaning the percentage of animals that have no calf at weaning time decreases to a small number. It is too costly to keep open animals around in todays markets and feed cost.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:24 am

PatB wrote:
It has been my experience since takeing over the herd management from dad that if you remove animals that fail to get bred, fail to give birth, or raise a calf to weaning the percentage of animals that have no calf at weaning time decreases to a small number.  It is too costly to keep open animals around in todays markets and feed cost.

Pat, it is also very costly to cull...so what`s the methodology to prevent culling? the per cent calf crop weaned in the states has not improved in the last thirty years...if your strategy was correct, fertility would improve by it`s own evolution...those animals who don`t have calves; don`t contribute as much to the new herd population...
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:38 am

So, what is 'the better alternative'?
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:50 am

RobertMac wrote:
So, what is 'the better alternative'?

selection for...rather than culling against ?
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:27 am

MKeeney wrote:
RobertMac wrote:
So, what is 'the better alternative'?

selection for...rather than culling against ?

The bulls I use for breeding must FIRST come from a cow that has calved EVER year.

If a cow doesn't bring a calf to the weaning pen, she becomes the dividend to pay her bill.
Selling the cow is subject to being over ruled by my wife! Shocked


Last edited by RobertMac on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:30 am

PatB wrote:
It has been my experience since takeing over the herd management from dad that if you remove animals that fail to get bred, fail to give birth, or raise a calf to weaning the percentage of animals that have no calf at weaning time decreases to a small number.  It is too costly to keep open animals around in todays markets and feed cost.

What good is culling cows if you go back and use the same bulls that caused the problems via AI? (no matter how free they are of testable challenges) How can you improve anything while introducing new? Are their better sources of fertility?
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outsidethebox



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:55 am

IMO this is a joke and one of the major flaws of the mainstream "seed stock" business. AI and ET would be just fine if the parents were from stock that had proven they can breed/calve and otherwise function under commercial conditions. My guess is that a pedigree analysis would clearly demonstrate that few AI sires would come close to passing such a critique. They were birthed in controlled environments by surrogates from the egg and sperm of 5/6 figure sires and dams who were coddled and primped and saved and propagated and marketed to the nth degree. And this has gone on for how many generations now?

But why consider any changes here. The folks who pull the strings have an endless supply of new folks coming on board every year-full of good intentions and lots of money-and overflowing with ignorance. Between the human's inability to self-assess and our gift for rationalization...progress doesn't have a chance.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:01 pm

The commercial man controls the strings. He will let go.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:15 pm

I think this is kinda funny...

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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:41 pm

Kent Powell wrote:
PatB wrote:
It has been my experience since takeing over the herd management from dad that if you remove animals that fail to get bred, fail to give birth, or raise a calf to weaning the percentage of animals that have no calf at weaning time decreases to a small number.  It is too costly to keep open animals around in todays markets and feed cost.

What good is culling cows if you go back and use the same bulls that caused the problems via AI? (no matter how free they are of testable challenges)  How can you improve anything while introducing new?  Are their better sources of fertility?

Kent if a cow fails to bring in a calf to pay for her keep then she failed her job and becomes beef. We blame the bull but how much is the cows fault? Have several cows that raise and excellent calf every year but the daughtes do not breed or rebreed after the first calf. The cows will be beefed when they miss a calf or not longer raise and acceptable calf and all offspring are sold as feeders. Yes we have used bulls that produce offspring whose daughters who were not upto the fertility challenge and no descendants are left.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:48 pm

"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean "up to the breed back" challenge?
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:09 pm

MKeeney wrote:
"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean  "up to the breed back" challenge?

No! You have to get them bred the first time before you worried about rebreeding.
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:09 pm

PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean  "up to the breed back" challenge?

No!  You have to get them bred the first time before you worried about rebreeding.

What good is culling cows if you go back and use the same bulls that caused the problems via AI? (no matter how free they are of testable challenges) How can you improve anything while introducing new? Are there better sources of fertility?
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:35 am

MKeeney wrote:
PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean  "up to the breed back" challenge?

No!  You have to get them bred the first time before you worried about rebreeding.

What good is culling cows if you go back and use the same bulls that caused the problems via AI? (no matter how free they are of testable challenges)  How can you improve anything while introducing new?  Are there better sources of fertility?

What difference does it make if you are using outside genetics if they are AI or walking semen factories besides bio security? What makes Keeney's Angus bulls BETTER than Powell Angus, Cole Creeks, Dennis Voss's or Shoshone? We all have to deal with the founder affect in our herd and breeding/selection/marketing decisions since starting a herd. PS High Pockets a bull dad used heavily around 30 years ago created fertility challenges that lasted for generations and removing descendants from the herd was the only way to eliminate the challenge. If an AI sire causes me challenges what makes you think I will go back and use him again to produce breeding stock? I may use up the semen on terminal animals to produce feeder cattle if the challenge does not affect health or growth of said feeder cattle.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:39 am

PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean  "up to the breed back" challenge?

No!  You have to get them bred the first time before you worried about rebreeding.

I see first breeding and breed back a two separate issues. Not breeding at all is, to me, a genetic issue or the heifer has too much growth potential over a longer period and fails to have excess energy into cycling. We have used several bulls over the years, both AI and natural, that sired daughters that would not breed or only a small fraction would. Maybe we need an ovary circumference EPD!

Breed back issues is one or a combination of: too much milk production, too much growth potential in the heifer or the calf, bad genetic fit to the environment or not getting enough groceries to the heifer when she needs it.

It has been a long term opinion for me that the bull that is raised here seems to fit the best and do the best regardless whether the sire was AI or natural service. That is not fool-proof, but a higher % would follow that pattern.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:49 am

EddieM wrote:
PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean  "up to the breed back" challenge?

No!  You have to get them bred the first time before you worried about rebreeding.

I see first breeding and breed back a two separate issues.  Not breeding at all is, to me, a genetic issue or the heifer has too much growth potential over a longer period and fails to have excess energy into cycling.  We have used several bulls over the years, both AI and natural, that sired daughters that would not breed or only a small fraction would.  Maybe we need an ovary circumference EPD!

Breed back issues is one or a combination of: too much milk production, too much growth potential in the heifer or the calf, bad genetic fit to the environment or not getting enough groceries to the heifer when she needs it.

It has been a long term opinion for me that the bull that is raised here seems to fit the best and do the best regardless whether the sire was AI or natural service.  That is not fool-proof, but a higher % would follow that pattern.

I highly suspect it was genetic for the bull mentioned as dad used to give animals far too many chances to breed. He has been tknown to give an animal over a year to rebreed. He had 17 daughters of this bull and 14 had been culled for fertility issues before they were 4. One lived to be 15 and died from bloat caused by eating frozen clover just after calving. The fertility challenge was passed on to multiple generations of descendants until they were removed from the herd.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:41 am

PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean  "up to the breed back" challenge?

No!  You have to get them bred the first time before you worried about rebreeding.

What good is culling cows if you go back and use the same bulls that caused the problems via AI? (no matter how free they are of testable challenges)  How can you improve anything while introducing new?  Are there better sources of fertility?

What difference does it make if you are using outside genetics if they are AI or walking semen factories besides bio security?   What makes Keeney's Angus bulls BETTER than Powell Angus, Cole Creeks, Dennis Voss's or Shoshone?  We all have to deal with the founder affect in our herd and breeding/selection/marketing decisions since starting a herd.    PS High Pockets a bull dad used heavily around 30 years ago created fertility challenges that lasted for generations and removing descendants from the herd was the only way to eliminate the challenge.  If an AI sire causes me challenges what makes you think I will go back and use him again to produce breeding stock?  I may use up the semen on terminal animals to produce feeder cattle if the challenge does not affect health or growth of said feeder cattle.

I have a new arbitrary policy here...I will retain no heifers as replacements from any cows that had no calves that year; come to think of it, neither will I use their sons as herd sires... Smile 
founder effect infertility?? must have been pretty fertile if it`s still causing trouble 30 years later...
forget about Keeneys being better than Powells or vice versa...what makes one Pat bull better than another Pat bull for fertility ??

I do not readily believe the analysis in the posted research abstract; however, if you select for fertility, you will indeed raise the heritability of the trait; but if you only cull???...most instances blamed on fertility, is actually breeding/creating cattle with more nutrient requirement than the feed environment can support...I`ve had one experience with fat cows that would be open from a particular set of genetics; they soon purged themselves without any help from me...

pat, you do know what % heritability means?
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:44 am

PatB wrote:
EddieM wrote:
PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
"up to the fertility challenge"...don`t you specifically mean  "up to the breed back" challenge?

No!  You have to get them bred the first time before you worried about rebreeding.

I see first breeding and breed back a two separate issues.  Not breeding at all is, to me, a genetic issue or the heifer has too much growth potential over a longer period and fails to have excess energy into cycling.  We have used several bulls over the years, both AI and natural, that sired daughters that would not breed or only a small fraction would.  Maybe we need an ovary circumference EPD!

Breed back issues is one or a combination of: too much milk production, too much growth potential in the heifer or the calf, bad genetic fit to the environment or not getting enough groceries to the heifer when she needs it.

It has been a long term opinion for me that the bull that is raised here seems to fit the best and do the best regardless whether the sire was AI or natural service.  That is not fool-proof, but a higher % would follow that pattern.

I highly suspect it was genetic for the bull mentioned as dad used to give animals far too many chances to breed.   He has been tknown to give an animal over a year to rebreed.  He had 17 daughters of this bull and 14 had been culled for fertility issues before they were 4.  One lived to be 15 and died from bloat caused by eating frozen clover just after calving.  The fertility challenge was passed on to multiple generations of descendants until they were removed from the herd.

I would suspect something other than fertility...
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:45 am

what is heifer pregnancy in Holsteins compared to calving interval thereafter ?
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:12 am

Mike

Fertility challenges of the past lumped everything from genetic mutations/defects, minerals and feed into the catagory of fertility challenge.  If the female was not bred then there was a fertility challenge.  There should be a reduction of open animals with the identification and management of genetic mutations/defects in beef herds.  Those herds that used am/nh/dd/ca carriers heavily should see a increase in the number of cows bred and hopefully the number of calfs weaned compared to females exposed to breeding.   I believe more genetic mutations/defects will be identified that cause early embryonic death and thus be managed by breeding decisions.

When the descendants of one bull fail to get in calf and other bulls descendants breed every year there is a fertility challenge caused by something other then feed.   Dad tried breeding around this challenge and I decided it was easier and more cost effective to remove the genetics from the herd by keeping nothing as replacements that descended from this bull.  Some of the descendants were extremely productive cows and most of their daughters would fail.

added

Just checked PS high pockets is a DD carrier. Combined that with other bulls used that turned out to be carriers and that could explain a percentage of breeding challenges.


Last edited by PatB on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:15 am

MKeeney wrote:
what is heifer pregnancy in Holsteins compared to calving interval thereafter ?

Holstiens and other dairy breeds are a production/feed issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:28 am

PatB wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
what is heifer pregnancy in Holsteins compared to calving interval thereafter ?

Holstiens and other dairy breeds are a production/feed issue.  

logic says to me...the more like Holsteins we make beef cattle, the more rebreeding becomes a production/feed issue
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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:36 am

PatB wrote:
Mike

Fertility challenges of the past lumped everything from genetic mutations/defects, minerals and feed into the catagory of fertility challenge.  If the female was not bred then there was a fertility challenge.  There should be a reduction of open animals with the identification and management of genetic mutations/defects in beef herds.  Those herds that used am/nh/dd/ca carriers heavily should see a increase in the number of cows bred and hopefully the number of calfs weaned compared to females exposed to breeding.   I believe more genetic mutations/defects will be identified that cause early embryonic death and thus be managed by breeding decisions.

When the descendants of one bull fail to get in calf and other bulls descendants breed every year there is a fertility challenge caused by something other then feed.   Dad tried breeding around this challenge and I decided it was easier and more cost effective to remove the genetics from the herd by keeping nothing as replacements that descended from this bull.  Some of the descendants were extremely productive cows and most of their daughters would fail.

added

Just checked PS high pockets is a DD carrier. Combined that with other bulls used that turned out to be carriers and that could explain a percentage of breeding challenges.

if heritability of fertility is even 30%, leaving 70% to things other than genetics... why not, or maybe you have, explore the 70% other first? producers keep searching for genetic cures for management failures, when there may not be any genetic cures...of course, one reason producers keep searching for genetic cures is because they are constantly bombarded with genetic cure marketing...
so, some breeders guarantee calving ease, some feet, etc...ever see one guarantee fertility?
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Fertility revisited   Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:35 pm

MKeeney wrote:
PatB wrote:
Mike

Fertility challenges of the past lumped everything from genetic mutations/defects, minerals and feed into the catagory of fertility challenge.  If the female was not bred then there was a fertility challenge.  There should be a reduction of open animals with the identification and management of genetic mutations/defects in beef herds.  Those herds that used am/nh/dd/ca carriers heavily should see a increase in the number of cows bred and hopefully the number of calfs weaned compared to females exposed to breeding.   I believe more genetic mutations/defects will be identified that cause early embryonic death and thus be managed by breeding decisions.

When the descendants of one bull fail to get in calf and other bulls descendants breed every year there is a fertility challenge caused by something other then feed.   Dad tried breeding around this challenge and I decided it was easier and more cost effective to remove the genetics from the herd by keeping nothing as replacements that descended from this bull.  Some of the descendants were extremely productive cows and most of their daughters would fail.

added

Just checked PS high pockets is a DD carrier. Combined that with other bulls used that turned out to be carriers and that could explain a percentage of breeding challenges.

if heritability of fertility is even 30%, leaving 70% to things other than genetics... why not, or maybe you have,  explore the 70% other first? producers keep searching for genetic cures for management failures, when there may not be any genetic cures...of course, one reason producers keep searching for genetic cures is because they are constantly bombarded with genetic cure marketing...
so, some breeders guarantee calving ease, some feet, etc...ever see one guarantee fertility?

When the challenge past down from parent to offspring then to future generations I figured there was a genetic component. Remove the problem animals and offspring out of the herd as numbers allow replacing with home raised animals that do not have the problem. Genetic testing is insurance I do not inadvertantly introduce a known genetic problem into the herd or multiply it by selecting the wrong home raised bull. Most years 50 to 75 percent of calf crop is sired by home raised bulls.

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