From the Angus BREEDPLAN Desk

October 17, 2017 10:50 am

In the midst of the eastern bull sale season, Angus BREEDPLAN has been extremely busy with our fortnightly BREEDPLAN Analyses, just as one analysis finishes, the next analysis kicks off.  The never-ending hamster wheel that is Angus BREEDPLAN just keeps on turning.

Recording Small Herds in Angus BREEDPLAN

During recent times, Angus Australia has fielded several phone calls from both new and existing members who are excited about the possibilities that EBVs and selection indexes provide. However, their herds are small, and they are questioning whether BREEDPLAN can work for them.

The simple answer is yes, breeders with small herds can certainly be involved in Angus BREEDPLAN, and can have EBVs that are both informative and effective at estimating an animal’s genetic merit.

The important point to remember is that breeders must be sure to manage their animals in a way that will include as many animals in each contemporary group as possible.

 Calves will be analysed in the same contemporary group if:
  • They were bred in the same herd
  • Are of the same sex
  • Are of the same birth number (i.e. Twins are not compared with single calves)
  • Are of the same birth status (e.g. ET calves are not compared with AI/natural calves)
  • Were born in the same calving year
  • Were born within 45 days of each other (for birth and 200 day weight)
  • Were born within 60 days of each other (for 400 and 600 day weight)
  • Have performance measured on the same day (and have the same measurement history)
  • Have been run under the same conditions

This seems like a large list, but if small herds ensure that there are at least two animals that meet the above criteria, their performance records can be analysed effectively by Angus BREEDPLAN.

How many animals need to be in each contemporary group?

As shown below, the effectiveness of an individual’s performance record increases as more animals are represented within each contemporary group.  A single animal contemporary group is not effective, however a contemporary group with two animals will immediately jump to a 50% record effectiveness, while a contemporary group with 5 animals will have an 80% record effectiveness.  After 5 to 10 animals are represented within each group, the increase in effectiveness for each additional animal decreases rapidly with increasing group size.

This graph clearly shows that a breeder doesn’t need huge contemporary groups to have effective data in Angus BREEDPLAN and even small herds can generate effective EBVs and Selection Indexes.

What about Genomic Information?

While the effectiveness of performance information is dependant on contemporary group size, the effectiveness of genomic information is not.  As a result, testing animals with genomic products offers small herds an invaluable opportunity to increase the accuracy of the EBVs that are calculated for their animals, particularly in situations where it is not possible to collect effective performance information.

For more information on recording small herds with Angus BREEDPLAN, a comprehensive fact sheet can be found on the Angus Australia website or by contacting Angus BREEDPLAN Project Officer Ashleigh Horne on 02 6773 4603 or by emailing breedplan@angusaustralia.com.au

BREEDPLAN Submission Deadlines

Please be aware of the upcoming Angus BREEDPLAN Analysis Deadlines.  If you are relying on updated EBVs from a particular analysis, please make sure that all of your registration details, DNA and performance data is submitted well ahead of the submission deadline to guarantee that updated EBVs are available when they are needed.

For more information regarding the upcoming analyses, please see the 2017 Angus BREEDPLAN Analysis Schedule on the Angus Australia website.

Analysis Submission Deadline Results Available (Indicative)
November October 15 October 31
Mid November November 1 November 17
December November 13 November 30
Mid December November 24 December 11
 January December 8 December 22
Performance Data Processing Statistics

The table below provides a snapshot of some of the performance information that has been added to the Angus Australia database from the 01/01/2017 to the 31/08/2017.

Contact Information

To further discuss the requirements of performance recording with Angus BREEDPLAN, please email breedplan@angusaustralia.com.au. Comprehensive educational material is also available from the BREEDPLAN section of the Angus Australia website.

 

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