History

AngusSireBenchmark Logo

In 2010, Angus Australia received funding assistance from Meat and Livestock Australia, under their Beef Information Nucleus (BIN) program, for the conduct a large scale sire progeny testing project for Angus cattle. The project provided a unique opportunity for Angus breeders to benchmark their prospective elite sires in a structured progeny test program.

In the first three years, the project saw around 2000 commercial Angus cows and heifers joined by AI to 40 Angus bulls per year.  In 2013, the program was extended for another three years and another 1200 females were joined to 21 bulls in that year. In total, the project will generate approximately 6,000 progeny, with 3.000 steers tested for feed efficiency and slaughtered after feedlot finishing to contribute carcase and meat quality data.  In addition, fertility and calving ease data is being recorded on about 3,000 female progeny.

All sires, and progeny, have DNA samples collected to enable the evaluation of future DNA markers or genotype tests with Angus cattle raised and assessed under Australian conditions. This will help quantify the contribution of the DNA markers allowing them to be incorporated into Estimated Breeding Values.

All Full Members of Angus Australia were eligible to nominate one to two bulls each year into the program.  The bulls used in the program give a broad cross section of the best bulls being offered to the Australian industry and internationally.

The first joining started in 2010 with 35 sires from Australia, NZ and UK nominated.  They were joined to 1640 Angus females, a reduced number due to flooding conditions at joining reducing available cow numbers.  One insemination fixed time AI was used for all females.  With the support of Bayer Australia and Bioniche Australasia supplying synchronising drugs, expertise and personnel, a conception rate to AI of 57.4% was achieved across 5 herds.

These calves were born in the spring of 2011 and weaned in April/May of 2012.  Calves were weighed for 200 and 400 Day Wts and DNA samples collected for sire verification and high quality DNA storage.  They were also scored for temperament.  Steer calves were backgrounded before feedlot entry in late 2012 and 400 steers completed feed efficiency testing in early 2012.  Heifers were grown out for joining in spring 2012, pregnancy tested and their first calves were born in winter/spring 2013.   Steers were scored for structural traits on completion of testing for feed efficiency and heifers after the birth of their first calf. All steers have now been slaughtered and meat samples from each carcase were tested for meat quality and inter muscular fat content. This is the completion of testing for this cohort of calves and the results are being released through the EBVs of the sires involved.

The second joining took place in 2011 with 47 bulls being nominated.  Of these, 37 were from Australia, eight from NZ, one from USA and one from UK.  A total of 2,336 cows were inseminated with a conception rate to AI of 52.4%.  These calves were born in 2012 and Calving Ease, Gestation Length, Birth Weight, 200 Day Weights and temperament scores were collected. Steers are being backgrounded for feedlot entry and the heifers have been joined. One group of steers has started feed efficiency testing with others yet to arrive at Tullimba for testing.

The third programmed joining took place in spring of 2012 with 2,300 females joined to 40 AI sires from all mainland states, 2 from USA and 6 from NZ. Again a fixed time AI program was used and a conception rate of 59.7% to AI was achieved. This is a real endorsement of the Bayer/Bioniche synchronisation protocols.

In early 2013, application was made to continue the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program for another three years. A reduced number of females was joined due to lower bull numbers being available. Twenty one bulls were joined including two from New Zealand and 19 Australian young sires representing some of the best bulls available. A fifth joining will be conducted in 2014 and bulls are now being sought.

2010 Bull nominations for first joining (Cohort 1)
Co-operator herds of commercial females arranged
First joining using fixed time AI to 1640 females
2011 Cohort 2 bulls nominated
BREEDPLAN analysis of Cohort 1 calving data published
Cohort 2 joining 2,336 females on five properties
2012 Cohort 1 calves weighed at weaning, temperament scored and DNA sampled
BREEDPLAN analysis of weaning weight data published
Cohort 3 bulls nominated
Cohort 2 calves born
Cohort 3  AI completed
400 Day weights on Cohort 1 steers and heifers collected, analyses and published
Cohort 1 heifers joined and steers enter feedlot
 2013 Cohort 2 calves weighed at weaning, temperament scored and DNA sampled
BREEDPLAN analysis of weaning weight data published
Cohort 3 calves born, as well as calves from Cohort 1 heifers
Cohort 4 bulls nominated and joined
400 Day weights on Cohort 2 steers and heifers collected, analyses and published
Cohort 2 heifers joined and steers enter feedlot
Cohort 1 steers slaughtered and carcass data collected
 2014 Cohort 3 calves weighed at weaning, temperament scored and DNA sampled
BREEDPLAN analysis of weaning weight data published
Cohort 4 calves born, as well as calves from Cohort 2 heifers born
Cohort 5 bulls nominated and joined
400 Day weights on Cohort 3 steers and heifers collected, analyses and published
Cohort 3 heifers joined and steers enter feedlot
Cohort 2 steers slaughtered and carcass data collected
 2015 Cohort 4 calves weighed at weaning, temperament scored and DNA sampled
BREEDPLAN analysis of weaning weight data published
Cohort 5 calves born, as well as calves from Cohort 3 heifers born
Cohort 6 bulls nominated and joined
400 Day weights on Cohort 4 steers and heifers collected, analyses and published
Cohort 4 heifers joined and steers enter feedlot
Cohort 3 steers slaughtered and carcass data collected
 2016 Cohort 5 calves weighed at weaning, temperament scored and DNA sampled
BREEDPLAN analysis of weaning weight data published
Cohort 6 calves born, as well as calves from Cohort 4 heifers born
400 Day weights on Cohort 5 steers and heifers collected, analyses and published
Cohort 5 heifers joined and steers enter feedlot
Cohort 4 steers slaughtered and carcass data collected
 2017 Cohort 6 calves weighed at weaning, temperament scored and DNA sampled
BREEDPLAN analysis of weaning weight data published
400 Day weights on Cohort 6 steers and heifers collected, analyses and published
Cohort 6 heifers joined and steers enter feedlot
Cohort 5 steers slaughtered and carcass data collected
 2018 Cohort 6 heifers calve
Cohort 6 steers slaughtered and carcass data collected

 

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