Angus Australia

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3 – Environmental Influences

environment-vs-geneticsThe appearance and performance of a bull is a combination of its genetics plus a range of non-genetic influences.

Non-genetic influences are numerous and include such things as:

  • the environment in which the bull has been raised
  • whether the bull has been supplementary fed, both in recent times and in the past
  • how the bull has been managed
  • the bull’s health status
  • whether the bull has previously been sick or injured
  • the age of the bull
  • whether the bull was reared by a mature cow or a maiden heifer
  • whether the bull has been fighting excessively or has been bullied
  • whether the bull has been previously joined.

When selecting Angus bulls, it is important to avoid the distraction of any non-genetic influences on the appearance or performance of the bulls that are available for selection.

Ensure selection decisions are focused on identifying bulls that are carrying the genetic package that is most aligned with the breeding objective of the individual breeding program in which the bulls will be joined.