Over the course of the last few weeks, Angus Australia has put together a series of resources breaking down “EBVs describe the difference, not the actual”. Angus Australia members are encouraged to contact Angus Australia in regard to any questions they have about Estimated Breeding Values.
For an overview of these resources see below:
EBVs describe the difference, not the actual
EBVs are a powerful tool to support breeders when making breeding and selection decisions. It is however important when utilising EBVs that we understand the tool and what information it provides, to assist with decision making.
EBVs describe the difference, not the actual: Part 2
We explored one reason why a bull’s physical performance cannot be used to validate his EBVs and looked at the impact of non-genetic factors on the physical performance of an individual.
The other consideration is that EBVs describe the expected difference in average progeny performance and the individual we examine is just one of the potential genetic combinations/progeny from the parents.
Using EBVs to identify the difference, not the actual
TACE EBVs can be used to estimate the expected difference in the genetics of two animals, with the expected difference equating to half the difference in the EBVs of the animals, all other things being equal (e.g. they are joined to the same animal/s).
EBVs describe the expected performance of the progeny, not the actual performance of the animal. TACE EBVs can only be used to estimate the difference in the genetics of two animals who both have TACE EBVs. TACE EBVs are not directly comparable with EBVs calculated in other genetic evaluations.
Selecting your next Angus bull
Choosing your bull is an important task, with many things to think about before you make your selections. Whether you are selecting bulls from an auction, a sale, or from within your own breeding program, there are a number of things to consider.
Angus Australia has a number of informative resources available that support a better understanding of EBVs and your breeding objectives. When it comes to the important task of choosing your bulls, a single bull’s genetic influence has the potential to significantly impact the future direction of your herd.
The Angus Sire Benchmarking Program (ASBP) has demonstrated that there is great potential to achieve genetic improvement in Angus breeding programs by utilising selections tools, such as EBVs and Selection Indexes. How well EBVs describe the performance of progeny was part of a recent project examining bulls and their progeny involved in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program Cohorts 5,6 and 7. Check out the Lessons from the ASBP resources, available on the Angus Australia website for the other birth and fertility traits and the results from the earlier work examining Cohorts 1, 2 and 3.
Genetics X Environment
The physical performance an animal achieves is made up of both the genetics of the animal and environment (non-genetic) factors, such as feeding. 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.