Understanding Angus Selection Indexes

Selection indexes are utilised by livestock breeders of many species around the world and are considered an essential part of any modern livestock breeding program.

Selection indexes aid in the selection of animals for use within a breeding program where there are several traits of economic or functional importance by providing an overall “score” of an animal’s genetic value. Selection indexes are calculated for a specific breeding purpose and are calculated based on weightings placed on individual traits that are deemed to be important for that purpose.

Selection indexes assist beef producers in making “balanced” selection decisions, taking into account the relevant growth, carcase & fertility attributes of each animal to identify animals that are most suitable for use within their particular commercial enterprise. Selection indexes reflect both the short term profit generated by an animal through the sale of their progeny, and the longer term profit generated by their daughters in a self-replacing cow herd.