Longhorn Cattle Performance Recording

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1 Longhorn Cattle Performance Recording Lucy Webb-Wilson Signet Breeding Consultant

2 Outline Who is Signet Creating EBVs and the Importance of Selective Breeding What traits do we produce? How to record Longhorn cattle What to do next

3 Who is Signet?


5 Signet s Role Provide genetic evaluations to sheep and beef producers to identify animals with superior breeding potential. Enable the industry to capitalise on genetic improvement

6 Why Genetic Improvement? Genetic improvement has an impact on: Improving growth and carcase traits Increasing maternal efficiency Enhancing animal health and welfare Reducing the carbon footprint of ruminant production

7 Creating EBVs and the Importance of Selective Breeding


9 Genetics and the Environment Health Age Age of Dam Year / Season Nutrition Genetic Potential

10 Importance of Breeding Good environment can mask animals of poor breeding Poor environment can mask animals of superior breeding

11 Measuring Breeding Potential Pedigree Data Performance Data Terminal Sire Traits Estimated Breeding Values Index. Maternal Traits

12 BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Predictor) Statistical procedure used in the UK dairy industry since early 1970s Disentangles genetic and non-genetic effects on performance Genetic links between herds required for across herd analysis (AI) Compares related animals with their contemporaries across many different herds using related animals as a benchmark

13 Comparing performance Herd 1 Across BLUP Herd 2 Within Herd 3 = genetically linked animals

14 What traits do we produce?

15 EBVs and Breeding Indexes Calving Value Beef Value EBV Characteristic Gestation length Calving ease Easier calving Birth weight 200 day growth Efficient growth 400 day growth Muscle depth Saleable meat Fat depth Lean meat yield

16 Maternal Traits EBV Characteristic Maternal Value Age at first calving Calving interval Maternal calving ease Fertility Ease of calving 200 day milk Early calf growth Maintenance Value Longevity Mature Size Long life Efficiency

17 Set Your Breeding Goals What will be the role of the Longhorn in the future? What are the genetic attributes you wish to change about the Longhorn? What does the breed intend to achieve through recording?

18 Set Breeding Objectives Faster growth rates Reduced barren rate Better temperament Better carcase conformation Milkier cows Reduced mature size Easier calvings Calving at an earlier age Improved longevity

19 How to record Longhorn Cattle

20 The Current Situation Longhorn Cattle pedigree held on Grassroots Pedigree is extensive There are reasonable number of medium to large herds (25+ cows) Breeders use the online PediWeb system for Birth Notifications

21 Proposed Arrangement Birth Notifications Breeder Weight and Phenotype Requests Weight and Phenotypic Data Grassroots Online Data Entry Birth Notifications Birth Notifications Signet Breed Secretary EBV Data Birth Notifications EBV Data Grassroots Database

22 What do members need to record? Weights Approx. every 100 days between birth and 600days of age Target age (days) Weights used (days) One weight required (days) Ultrasound Scanning Technician needs to be booked to scan animals between 300 and 500 days of age

23 What can members record? Calving Ease Udder and Teat Scores Cow mature Size At Weaning BCS Management Code


25 What does it cost? Annual fee of 140 plus 5 per breeding cow Capped at 800pa for larger herds Ultrasound scanning - 6/head Minimum charge of 175 Maximum charge 500

26 What to do next

27 Signet and the Society Signet and the Longhorn Cattle Society will work with Grassroots to perfect the data extraction process. Test herds will be used to trial data transfer Recruitment work with Society members

28 Individual Members Start collecting weights this winter Plan how you can fit recording into other on farm task e.g. vaccination, housing and turning out etc. Sign up!!! Data collected from Winter 2014 Contracts start 1 st April 2015 First analysis when 100 calves