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Grassfarmer



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Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Help with EPDs   Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:29 pm

I'm wondering if I could get some help figuring out EPDs? Specifically I would like suggestions as to what should be included in a maternal EPD set that when used sensibly and simply would move the focus in a cattle population from growth and terminal characteristics towards longevity, reduced maintenance and hence more efficient beef production. I like what I understand about the $EN EPD but what others are worthwhile and to establish things like the $EN do you need to have WW and YW and various other related EPDs? Are there any good documents you'd recommend reading on this subject? - places that could develop the calculations to fit such an EPD set?
Another question I have is how large a cattle population it takes to generate EPDs with worthwhile accuracy. Is collecting the data and producing EPDs more difficult in a population where bulls are used almost exclusively rather than AI?

TIA
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PatB



Posts : 455
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Location : Turner, Maine

PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:04 pm

Who calculates the epds for the breeds in canada? Check with different breed associations and what data they are collecting or would like to collect. I would think you would need calving data, birth date, weight and assisted to what degree or not, along with ww and cow weight, age, and height. If trying to calculate longevity you will need breeding data on heifers and reason for disposal of all heifers that bred (naturally or AI) and the same for all cows.

The angus information management software manual from early version may have some of the information you are looking for. It has been over 16 years since I last looked at it. Dorain Garrick (sp) Iowa state uninversity or Dr Jerry Taylor University of Missouri may be able to answer your questions or point you in the right direction.

The larger the population/data set the more accurate final calculations will be. You will probaly want to brush up on statistics.

The lack of AI use will make it harder to produce breed wide epd's.

My suggestion would be check with your Universities and see if they are willing help with this challenge. Good luck.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:31 pm

Pick a cow that fits your need and want of maternal and see what her EPDs are. That's what you need. I honestly believe that all you will find in research and literature is a bias to what they want or to what fits their environment. A cow that is too efficient will cost you some production but a cow that is not efficient enough will cost you continual replacement costs and a wasted feed bill.

Within herd or within flock EPDs are pretty good if you want to make them or you can just go with ratios more like the old EBVs and save a bit of time at the calculator. The more they are bred alike the more the ratios will mean to you.
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:29 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
I'm wondering if I could get some help figuring out EPDs? Specifically I would like suggestions as to what should be included in a maternal EPD set that when used sensibly and simply would move the focus in a cattle population from growth and terminal characteristics towards longevity, reduced maintenance and hence more efficient beef production. I like what I understand about the $EN EPD but what others are worthwhile and to establish things like the $EN do you need to have WW and YW and various other related EPDs? Are there any good documents you'd recommend reading on this subject? - places that could develop the calculations to fit such an EPD set?
Another question I have is how large a cattle population it takes to generate EPDs with worthwhile accuracy. Is collecting the data and producing EPDs more difficult in a population where bulls are used almost exclusively rather than AI?

TIA

The math is way too complex for me Iain. So i have tired to simplify it as best as i can. EPD's IMO are the combination of Your genetics in your environment under your management. And the more you close the herd the smaller the FUDGE FACTOR becomes resulting in a downward spiral to a sustainable balance, For your herd, that is why every closed herd you find will have moderate EPDS in every category measured, Again IMO they become more reliable as the closed herd evolves and the bell curve flattens. Now that was My opinion. Now for reality they are the best dam marketing scam to come down the pipe since 7 up. And it is pretty dam easy to get the masses to believe MORE is BETTER. Enough i better quit before mike gives me the boot for such blasphemy. cheers cheers cheers
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OAK LANE FARM



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:44 am

Canada's Angus EPDs are processed by the AAA computer but they have less stuff information for financial reasons. I am not sure if they are the same but I think they are fairly lined up. I asked 15 commercial and registered breeders as simple of EPD question as there is and not one knew the answer but they do know 100 is more than 50. I can not for the life of me understand chasing more of a trait without factoring in the implications of having more of that trait. A high EN value is exceptionaly low milk or low growth or a combination of the two being low. The other high EN value is old genetics that while not necessarily low in milk or growth the computer thinks it is. The highest EN values are giving up too much production in most environments in my opinion. Selecting EN values below breed average is where the best maternal cattle fall in my opinion. Everyone who seems so focused on being an ACOWTANT forgets that most of the thing we need in our cows are easy to see and just as easy to find at a good breeders place. When most producers punch their situation into the OPTIMUM MILK MODULE and it kicks out a +15 milk an they shop for the +30 milk bulls what in the heck good is more number to try to identify maternal going to do. There is more calving ease and birth statistics than ever but they sure haven't eliminated trouble. I want to buy a heifer bull from someone who is smart enough to look at the calf when he is born and tell the difference. My heifers were bred to a bull that never had a relationship with the breeder- just the night calver and the acowtant. When the bull showed up everything looked wrong and read right and that didn't work out.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:51 am

Thanks for all the input. I should clarify though that this is not for my cattle population. I don't feel the need for EPDs for the reasons some of you have stated. I feel in general they are a dangerous tool given the way they are used (misused) by most people. What I'm looking for are suggestions of which EPDs to use to reduce the potential damage to cattle type by breeders who are determined to introduce an EPD system. I had thought steering the focus towards something like -10$EN rather than +30 Milk +100 YW would be beneficial but given the seemingly inevitable propensity of breeders to think more = better is it even possible to positively influence breeders direction through use of EPDs when they can't see the negative impact of their non-EPDs influenced more=better selections standing in front of them every day?
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PatB



Posts : 455
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Age : 53
Location : Turner, Maine

PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:13 am

How many breeders are willing to do the work needed to develop meaningful epds for a small breed? My suggestion would be to consult with one of the EPD guru's and find out how many records are needed to have a decent accuracy for epd's. Most small breeds cannot reach the threshhold for needed records and have bulls used in multiple herds to allow comparision of offspring records. Wide use of AI allows bulls to be compared in multiple herds thus reducing the affect of 1 herds data. How many records can the breed your are investigating possible epd for produce yearly? The University of Georgia was instrumental in the early days of epd calculations for angus.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:15 am

Quote :
Thanks for all the input. I should clarify though that this is not for my cattle population. I don't feel the need for EPDs for the reasons some of you have stated. I feel in general they are a dangerous tool given the way they are used (misused) by most people. What I'm looking for are suggestions of which EPDs to use to reduce the potential damage to cattle type by breeders who are determined to introduce an EPD system. I had thought steering the focus towards something like -10$EN rather than +30 Milk +100 YW would be beneficial but given the seemingly inevitable propensity of breeders to think more = better is it even possible to positively influence breeders direction through use of EPDs when they can't see the negative impact of their non-EPDs influenced more=better selections standing in front of them every day?
OH-H-H-H, in THAT case you need EPD's for the people and not the cattle! Twisted Evil
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:33 am

EddieM wrote:
Quote :
Thanks for all the input. I should clarify though that this is not for my cattle population. I don't feel the need for EPDs for the reasons some of you have stated. I feel in general they are a dangerous tool given the way they are used (misused) by most people. What I'm looking for are suggestions of which EPDs to use to reduce the potential damage to cattle type by breeders who are determined to introduce an EPD system. I had thought steering the focus towards something like -10$EN rather than +30 Milk +100 YW would be beneficial but given the seemingly inevitable propensity of breeders to think more = better is it even possible to positively influence breeders direction through use of EPDs when they can't see the negative impact of their non-EPDs influenced more=better selections standing in front of them every day?
OH-H-H-H, in THAT case you need EPD's for the people and not the cattle! Twisted Evil

Eddie i went out and told my cows that they were not producing to there EPD potential and they said MOO,,,,,,,,,,,MOO............. Yes they are for the people lol! lol!
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:37 pm

W.T wrote:
EddieM wrote:
Quote :
Thanks for all the input. I should clarify though that this is not for my cattle population. I don't feel the need for EPDs for the reasons some of you have stated. I feel in general they are a dangerous tool given the way they are used (misused) by most people. What I'm looking for are suggestions of which EPDs to use to reduce the potential damage to cattle type by breeders who are determined to introduce an EPD system. I had thought steering the focus towards something like -10$EN rather than +30 Milk +100 YW would be beneficial but given the seemingly inevitable propensity of breeders to think more = better is it even possible to positively influence breeders direction through use of EPDs when they can't see the negative impact of their non-EPDs influenced more=better selections standing in front of them every day?
OH-H-H-H, in THAT case you need EPD's for the people and not the cattle! Twisted Evil

Eddie i went out and told my cows that they were not producing to there EPD potential and they said MOO,,,,,,,,,,,MOO............. Yes they are for the people lol! lol!

epd this...

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PatB



Posts : 455
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Age : 53
Location : Turner, Maine

PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:48 pm

MKeeney wrote:
W.T wrote:
EddieM wrote:
Quote :
Thanks for all the input. I should clarify though that this is not for my cattle population. I don't feel the need for EPDs for the reasons some of you have stated. I feel in general they are a dangerous tool given the way they are used (misused) by most people. What I'm looking for are suggestions of which EPDs to use to reduce the potential damage to cattle type by breeders who are determined to introduce an EPD system. I had thought steering the focus towards something like -10$EN rather than +30 Milk +100 YW would be beneficial but given the seemingly inevitable propensity of breeders to think more = better is it even possible to positively influence breeders direction through use of EPDs when they can't see the negative impact of their non-EPDs influenced more=better selections standing in front of them every day?
OH-H-H-H, in THAT case you need EPD's for the people and not the cattle! Twisted Evil

Eddie i went out and told my cows that they were not producing to there EPD potential and they said MOO,,,,,,,,,,,MOO............. Yes they are for the people lol! lol!

epd this...


I will leave that to the Dairy breeds. I believe the Jersey association is now classifying udders on teat placement with the hope of finding a genetic markers for ideal udders and less desirable udders. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:15 pm

That looks like a CARROT Mike! Now all you need are the taters for the complete meal. If that one calved on green grass that would look like a basketball with TITS. I think that just might be too many years of using EPD"S as a selection tool for making the cow herd better and forgetting that they need to be functional first and foremost. Somehow i doubt that the 90K chip will help much as I feel that is just another part of the problem. The answer Is simple and that would be a Discplined breeding program with functional cattle as the goal, not the most popular AI sire with the best EPD'S for the breed.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:57 pm


farao How can you identify the most efficient and most profitable cows in a cowherd? The answer is so simple that most people miss it. The most efficient and profitable cows in an unpampered cowherd will always be the oldest cows. These are cows that have done everything right without missing for at least twelve years.
Honest, unpampered, teenage cows have addressed all of the issues relative to fertility, energy requirements, frame size, production, structural soundness, mothering ability and disposition. These are time-proven cows that can seldom be improved upon.
Cow longevity is the most important trait to select for because it encompasses all of the other important maternal traits. We have devised a formula, based on all the cows in a 4-generation pedigree, to calculate a longevity score for all of the registered bulls in this sale. Scores range from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the very best.
Our formula may not be perfect, but it allows us to determine which bulls are most likely to produce daughters that will keep going and going and going. In time, we will probably make slight adjustments to our formula. farao

Iain,
In the registered business, it`s not real important if a measurement works, it`s just important to have a measurement to promote...

mk, trying for wallhanger status...
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OAK LANE FARM



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:22 pm

OAK LANE FARM wrote:
Canada's Angus EPDs are processed by the AAA computer but they have less stuff information for financial reasons. I am not sure if they are the same but I think they are fairly lined up. I asked 15 commercial and registered breeders as simple of EPD question as there is and not one knew the answer but they do know 100 is more than 50. I can not for the life of me understand chasing more of a trait without factoring in the implications of having more of that trait. A high EN value is exceptionaly low milk or low growth or a combination of the two being low. The other high EN value is old genetics that while not necessarily low in milk or growth the computer thinks it is. The highest EN values are giving up too much production in most environments in my opinion. Selecting EN values below breed average is where the best maternal cattle fall in my opinion. Everyone who seems so focused on being an ACOWTANT forgets that most of the thing we need in our cows are easy to see and just as easy to find at a good breeders place. When most producers punch their situation into the OPTIMUM MILK MODULE and it kicks out a +15 milk an they shop for the +30 milk bulls what in the heck good is more number to try to identify maternal going to do. There is more calving ease and birth statistics than ever but they sure haven't eliminated trouble. I want to buy a heifer bull from someone who is smart enough to look at the calf when he is born and tell the difference. My heifers were bred to a bull that never had a relationship with the breeder- just the night calver and the acowtant. When the bull showed up everything looked wrong and read right and that didn't work out.
I meant EN$ above breed average but well below the high ones
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 850
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Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:50 pm

MKeeney wrote:


Iain,
In the registered business, it`s not real important if a measurement works, it`s just important to have a measurement to promote...

That seems to be the way it works in the mainstream for sure but at the same time I'm sure it has been said on here before that EPDs work - I seem to remember LL saying that. So if they take you in the direction you select for i.e. high milk, high growth which we perceive as negative things if overdone shouldn't it be possible to achieve positive things with EPDs if you decide the right direction to head and don't go beyond "enough"?

On the longevity thing I was reading that a breeder in Scotland "places a lot of emphasis on the changing needs of the beef industry with an increased turnover of cows now required due to higher cull cow values" I don't know how they make bringing on all the replacements pencil given their feed costs are normally as high as the US ones are currently.
Me, I'm going to keep aiming for 20 year olds.
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mikejd4020



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Location : Bainville, MT

PostSubject: EPDS   Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:48 am

The question in "my" mind is are epds a proven tool for breeding cattle. How can brute statistics decipher and thereby sort the random half of the genetic code that is going to be passed on to the offspring. In other words. If 100 head of cattle were in a pen. Some were old, some young, some had horrible looking mothers, some looked good, and had excellent mothers, and you had to pick the 30 best cattle to start your herd with, and you were given the choice of.

1. Stay in the house and look at all the cattle on paper
2. Walk through the pen and sort the ones you want.


I would take the walk through the pen. As would most people, I would assume.

Now what would be interesting and probably more beneficial would be to sort the ones you wanted, then go look at the epd's of the cattle that were of the type that you figure would work best in your environment.

To me epd's were meant to statistically quantify a type of cow. Now it seems as epd's determine the type of cow. study


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OAK LANE FARM



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:14 am

mikejd4020 wrote:
The question in "my" mind is are epds a proven tool for breeding cattle. How can brute statistics decipher and thereby sort the random half of the genetic code that is going to be passed on to the offspring. In other words. If 100 head of cattle were in a pen. Some were old, some young, some had horrible looking mothers, some looked good, and had excellent mothers, and you had to pick the 30 best cattle to start your herd with, and you were given the choice of.

1. Stay in the house and look at all the cattle on paper
2. Walk through the pen and sort the ones you want.


I would take the walk through the pen. As would most people, I would assume.

Now what would be interesting and probably more beneficial would be to sort the ones you wanted, then go look at the epd's of the cattle that were of the type that you figure would work best in your environment.

To me epd's were meant to statistically quantify a type of cow. Now it seems as epd's determine the type of cow. study


MOST OF THESE GUYS HAVING THE BIG SALE LOVE THE NUMBERS THEY HAVE NOW BUT WISH FOR THE COWHERDS THEY HAD THIRTY YEARS AGO. We have too many ACOWTANTS and not enough guys looking at the cattle. Everything from birth, soundness and type suffering for it.
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OAK LANE FARM



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:33 am

MKeeney wrote:

About the time most start to understand the current tools time to develop some new stuff so there is something else to manipulate and abuse. Super nutrition the big thing in ND-keeping up with Shaft- souping up the growth and carcass . How do you fetal-program all this growth and have your birth weights go down?

Iain,
In the registered business, it`s not real important if a measurement works, it`s just important to have a measurement to promote...

mk, trying for wallhanger status...
Best wallhanger I have heard this month- "IT'S EASIER TO SCREW SOMEONE THAN IT IS TO CONVINCE THEM THEY ARE BEING SCREWED!" Author Unknown
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:46 am

I watched McCumber sale for a bit on RFDtv yesterday and they had some nice looking animals with acceptable EPD's. Their bulls epd's were 1/2 to 2/3's of main stream AI bulls.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:30 am

OAK LANE FARM wrote:
mikejd4020 wrote:
The question in "my" mind is are epds a proven tool for breeding cattle. How can brute statistics decipher and thereby sort the random half of the genetic code that is going to be passed on to the offspring. In other words. If 100 head of cattle were in a pen. Some were old, some young, some had horrible looking mothers, some looked good, and had excellent mothers, and you had to pick the 30 best cattle to start your herd with, and you were given the choice of.

1. Stay in the house and look at all the cattle on paper
2. Walk through the pen and sort the ones you want.


I would take the walk through the pen. As would most people, I would assume.

Now what would be interesting and probably more beneficial would be to sort the ones you wanted, then go look at the epd's of the cattle that were of the type that you figure would work best in your environment.

To me epd's were meant to statistically quantify a type of cow. Now it seems as epd's determine the type of cow. study


MOST OF THESE GUYS HAVING THE BIG SALE LOVE THE NUMBERS THEY HAVE NOW BUT WISH FOR THE COWHERDS THEY HAD THIRTY YEARS AGO. We have too many ACOWTANTS and not enough guys looking at the cattle. Everything from birth, soundness and type suffering for it.

as I dug around in the Beckton catalog, a constant irritant was having to go back and look up the percentiles, formulas, etc...
there should be ONE national sire evaluation with all breeds on the same base so the numbers across breeds are easily compared...and any evaluation that doesn`t require whole herd reporting isn`t as good as it could be...
that said, I still have no answer for Grassy...if epds were meaningful and accurate enough, I`d suggest throw out the highs and the lows and only register the range that fit the breed standards...do breeds have standards??? yes, some have to be a certain color...of course, some don`t...but epds aren`t reflective enough of maternal value to even bother...a good terminal tool...
skimmed prices of bull sales this morning; wondered why I even bother...and then I wondered; why are my bills paid when history shows many of the high rollers aren`t ???
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:44 am

What are acceptable EPD's?

I am not convinced lower growth, lower milk, ... etc from mainstream cattle makes them acceptable for anything beyond the BBQ.

Function does not magically appear with a lack of performance. Hence my dislike of the great bug $en group hug. Some high $EN cattle, from actual experience, are just bad.

My experience with the founders of todays high growth and high milk cattle is that they were just bad.

Just breed good cattle.

Look at the ads, if you screw up- they have the one generation solution.


Maternal doesn't need an EPD. If you don't know it when you see it and experience it, find a supplier who does and do what you do best.

I was once told by a Longhorn breeder that one of the biggest names in that breed wouldn't know a good cow without a tape measure- because that was THE measure of quality in that breed. It sure doesn't tell the whole story. Another breed squandering their strengths which could benefit the commercial cattleman to make a product less functional.

Focus on function or follow the trend. The beaten path, paved for your convenience with lots of support claiming the opportunity for fortune and fame (with a good chance of poverty or high profile dispersal sales), or the road not taken which offers ridicule, lonliness, (perhaps poverty) and the opportunity to build something truly better.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:00 am

MKeeney wrote:
[


as I dug around in the Beckton catalog, a constant irritant was having to go back and look up the percentiles, formulas, etc...
there should be ONE national sire evaluation with all breeds on the same base so the numbers across breeds are easily compared...and any evaluation that doesn`t require whole herd reporting isn`t as good as it could be...
that said, I still have no answer for Grassy...if epds were meaningful and accurate enough, I`d suggest throw out the highs and the lows and only register the range that fit the breed standards...do breeds have standards??? yes, some have to be a certain color...of course, some don`t...but epds aren`t reflective enough of maternal value to even bother...a good terminal tool...
skimmed prices of bull sales this morning; wondered why I even bother...and then I wondered; why are my bills paid when history shows many of the high rollers aren`t ???

IF PRI had expanded and done just that, would breed associations even exist beyond for recreational purposes? (or do they today?)

Whole herd reporting is all fine and dandy, but that wasn't the purpose of the association in the first place. Changing purpose mid stream and culling the membership is a whole lot like todays breeding programs. What seems like a purposful direction, in historical terms is a commited lack of direction and mandated insistance to comply. Wouldn't a mandate to comply with the freaks and dwarfs been super? Not a breeder environment, a multiplier environment. When Associations, like most Governments, get involved beyond what is proper, their whole existance must be questioned. Performance should have been 3rd party.

With Simmental and Red Angus, that was their purpose from the start, so there isn't a people problem. Simmental have improved through eliminating many of their problems, now they are the maternal side raising terminal Angus calves. Is that improvement in efficiency of beef production?
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:36 am

As the pic of that heifer of mine shows Kent the race for something advertising and EPDS have sold. Has increased the cull rate and reduced the profit margin for the ranch.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:56 am

OH WT, don't you know that if you do not praise the progressive movement you are automatically a marginal producer?

At least that is the impression I got from reading some big time sale catalog footnotes.

Are feedlots marginal producers? They seem to be obsessed with the margin on cattle which is more dependant on purchase price than a little more performance.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Help with EPDs   Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:56 pm

Kent Powell wrote:
What are acceptable EPD's?

I am not convinced lower growth, lower milk, ... etc from mainstream cattle makes them acceptable for anything beyond the BBQ.

Function does not magically appear with a lack of performance. Hence my dislike of the great bug $en group hug. Some high $EN cattle, from actual experience, are just bad.

My experience with the founders of todays high growth and high milk cattle is that they were just bad.

Just breed good cattle.

Look at the ads, if you screw up- they have the one generation solution.


Maternal doesn't need an EPD. If you don't know it when you see it and experience it, find a supplier who does and do what you do best.

I was once told by a Longhorn breeder that one of the biggest names in that breed wouldn't know a good cow without a tape measure- because that was THE measure of quality in that breed. It sure doesn't tell the whole story. Another breed squandering their strengths which could benefit the commercial cattleman to make a product less functional.

Focus on function or follow the trend. The beaten path, paved for your convenience with lots of support claiming the opportunity for fortune and fame (with a good chance of poverty or high profile dispersal sales), or the road not taken which offers ridicule, lonliness, (perhaps poverty) and the opportunity to build something truly better.

Kent, right on as usual about breeding maternal...can it be sold on those terms? to cattle producers??...maybe
I`m damn envious of all these high priced bull sales averaging $5000; and I want a piece of the action...a piece about $2000 big; much more than that would bother me, for I know most of $3000 extra would be wasted and I don`t want to be responsible for miracles that are a mere apparition...
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