Gaining a true assessment of a bull’s potential value and the direction he could take the herd can be hard when relying only on physical traits and performance, because of the large impact environmental conditions have. The physical traits and performance provide valuable information, however need to be understood in relation to the performance of the herd, this is because;
- Irrespective of the conditions, when exposed to the same conditions, the higher genetic merit animal will perform better than a lower genetic merit animal.
- If exposed to different environmental conditions (such as feeding programs), the physical performance of poorer genetic merit animals can be above that of higher genetic merit animals.
- A bull’s value to a breeding program is through his genetics, not his physical performance
Breeding values take the hard work out assessing the merit of an animal because they take into account a huge amount of data, not only on the animal itself but also how animals in its pedigree have performed and how the genetics its carrying have performed in other animals. This performance is assessed in relation to how the animal performed in relation to other animals within the herd, which enables the influence of environmental conditions to be accounted for.
Using breeding values and assessing the change in breeding values towards our breeding objective enables a bull’s value to be appropriately assessed. Producing the highest quality cattle relies not only on great genetics and breeding, but also suitable feeding and environmental conditions to allow the genetics to express themselves to their full potential.
Overall what this means is that means is if we are to realise the true value of a bull in our herd, we need to understand his impact is just one part of all the bulls in the pedigree. We need to understand that average doesn’t cut it and that if we want to have more profitable cows in the future, we need to make the right decisions now and understand what the bull has truly delivered to the herd, all of which is made easy with breeding values.
For further information or support contact staff at Angus Australia on (02) 6773 4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org