CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL

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1 CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL By: Roger Bergeron, M.Sc., Agr. and Linda Larocque, Agr. Outaouais, November 5th

2 CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL The goal: Not give you a recipe But explain to you the principles And the logics of genetics in the population 2

3 CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL The genealogy of a bull Tells what it should be; The visual appreciation Tells what it appears to be; While his evaluation based on the progeny Tells what it really is. 3

4 THE GENEALOGY For purebred animals and the upgrade cross Canadian Herd Book Provides information on parents Allows to know the bloodline to avoid inbreeding (relationship) between animals 4

5 THE VISUAL APPRECIATION Avoid major defects Target on functional traits: Feet and legs Muscling Scrotum or mammary gland Back and shoulder Select for animals that will stay in the herd Heritability of physical traits is at the heart of changes in appearance for sons and daughters 5

6 HERITABILITY OF SOME CONFORMATION TRAITS Trait Heritability Trait Heritability Height 0.60 Muscling 0.42 Length 0.39 Femininity 0.32 Capacity 0.44 Udder Suspension 0.23 Back feet & legs 0.12 Udder depth 0.35 Feet / Angles of the pastern 0.13 Teat size 0.39 Low; Medium; High La conformation des bovins Congrès du bœuf

7 EVALUATION BASED ON PROGENY The most accurate genetic values are EPD and ABC. These values exceed the gain index, the adjusted gain and the real weight Several consideration to take into account: - Source (PATBQ, BIO, CDN Breed, USA Breed) - Reference average (fixed or mobile) - Precision (accuracy and method) - Traits evaluated (BW, CE and MCE, WG and PWG, Milk) - Contribution information (parents, animal performances, progeny, etc.) 7

8 CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL One of the conclusions of the presentation on trends in genetic evolution in recent decades in Quebec: A merging of breed phenomenon seems to exist in the genetics values Ref. : Congrès du boeuf 10 octobre

9 PROXIMITY BETWEEN THE TOP 5 BREEDS BETWEEN THE 1 ST AND THE 5 TH POSITION Traits 2000 Today Birth weight (lb) Birth-weaning gain (lb) Post weaning gain (lb) Birth-1 year gain (lb) Direct calving ease (%) Maternal calving ease (%) Milking ability (lb) Hip height (inch) 1.56 (4.0 cm) 0.87 (2.2 cm) 9

10 CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL The values of traits follow a normal distribution (bell)

11 IMPORTANCE OF BULL VS COWS Breeding: Bull X cow Calf Contribution per calf: 50 % Sire + 50 % Dam 1 Bull x 40 Cows Contribution per year: Bull 50 % of 40 calves Cow 50 % of 1 calf Productive life: Bull 3 years - Cow 6 years Life contribution: Bull 120 calves Cow 6 calves Which animal do I invest in? 11

12 NUMBER OF COWS IN PRODUCTION VS A BULL FOR SALE ON AVERAGE WITH AN IMPROVING TRAIT # Cow in production: 4 cows # Calves: 2 females 2 males Improved animals: M - M + F - F + Ratio for sale in average per sex: 1 for 4 cows 12

13 NUMBER OF BULLS EVALUATED FOR SALE IN AVERAGE PER HERD SIZE Bulls to sale Cows in production Note: More we looking for improved traits at the same time, less animals we find available. 13

14 DEFINITION EPD (within breed value) Estimate of the genetic value that an animal will pass on his progeny for targeted production traits, expressed in terms of deviation from average of the reference population = the same breed ABC (interbreed value) Same as EPD, but expressed in terms of deviation from the average of the reference population = all breeds including crossbred animals 14

15 REPRESENTATION WITHIN BREED VS INTERBREED Breed A Breed B Breed C ABC (interbreed) (AA, CH, LM, SM, XX,...) 15

16 CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL Often there is more difference within breeds than between the average of different breeds (based on ABC = interbreed) Breed A Breed B Breed C -2,7 0 2,

17 DEFINITION Percentile rank % (EPD et ABC) Rank of an animal in the reference population based on genetic merit, from 1 to 99%, it is an universal scale PATBQ and breeds associations: 1 % = best 50 % = animal which divides the population in 2 99 % = worst BIO : Reverse scale where 99 % = best 17

18 Normal distribution (Bell) - + Last First Percentile Average animals rank (%) Index 100 Mobile average (EPD/ABC) 0 18

19 ACCURACY (%) Precision measurement of EPD and ABC Indicator of information sources (parents, performance and progeny) Between 0 and 99 % (higher level = 99%) 19

20 VARIATION OF EPD/ABC VS LEVEL OF ACCURACY FOR BIRTH-WEANING GAIN Accuracy Possible (%) variation (lb) 95 Progeny ± Performances ± Parents ± 17.5 Ex. at 5% Ex. at Ex. at

21 SELECTION LOGIC In considering the possible variation of genetic values EPD/ABC based on the level of precision (Accuracy) to have an animal that will continue to be improving over time Take a careful approach 21

22 VARIATION OF EPD/ABC VS LEVEL OF ACCURACY AND PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE Accuracy (%) Percentile rank (%) ABC BWG (lb) BWG = Birth-weaning gain 22

23 VARIATION OF EPD/ABC VS LEVEL OF ACCURACY AND PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE Accuracy (%) Genetic value to be considered Percentile rank (%) ABC BWG (lb) BWG = Birth-weaning gain 23

24 GETTING GOOD GENETIC? THE OPTIONS: Artificial insemination (choice of several breeds and possibility of sexed semen); In multisource breeding centre (private stations), in Quebec presently reduce number (maximum of 250 bulls being evaluated for next year); Farm control (supervised or non supervised version) the largest pool of purebred animals evaluated; Middle aged bulls, the great forgotten, they have 1 to 3 calf crops, they have accurate breeding values, ratio bull/cows greater than a young bull, give value to initial investment at resale. 24

25 EXAMPLE 1 : CHOICE OF AN AI ANGUS BULL FOR REPLACEMENT HEIFERS Fixed average (CDN vs USA) to correct for net EPD A B CE (%) BW (lb) WW (lb) YW (lb) Milk (lb) MCE (%) SC (cm) REA (po 2 ) EPD ,0 n/d 0,56 Accuracy Breed aver.(cdn) Net EPD EPD , Accuracy Breed aver. (USA) Net EPD

26 EXAMPLE 1 : CHOICE OF AN AI ANGUS BULL FOR REPLACEMENT HEIFERS Fixed average (CDN vs USA) to correct for net EPD: Subtracting the breed average values of the animal value to obtain the net EPD of the animal and determine if the trait is improving or not Special attention to have the good average according to the source, must consider the country (Canada or US) and color (black or red) 26

27 EXAMPLE 2 : CHOICE OF A CHAROLAIS BULL ON ABC- PATBQ FOR COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE (SELLS ALL) Mobile average = 0 = direct reading; interbreed BW (lb) CE (%) WG (lb) PWG (lb) YG (lb) MCE (%) Milk (lb) HH (po) Fat (mm) REA (po 2 ) Marb (%) SC (cm) EIS (100) C 63Z D 55Z E 372Z Complete with EPD = within breed values Research green (top 25 %); Blue neutral zone (between 25 to 75 %); Avoid red (75 % and more) 27

28 EXAMPLE 2 : CHOICE OF A CHAROLAIS BULL ON ABC- PATBQ FOR COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE (SELLS ALL) Mobile average = 0 = direct reading; interbreed: Bull C has the best EIS, bull interesting commercial producer Bull D remains attractive for purebred producers, several strengths, interbreed values scale, its negatives traits should be corrected by females in the herd (fat, marbling) Bull E is interesting for a commercial enterprise with a modest budget, the milk is not be considered no daughters will be kept, fat and marbling should come from the females of the herd 28

29 EXAMPLE 3 : CHOICE OF LIMOUSIN BULL VIA BIO FOR COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE (SELLS ALL) ABC on fixed base, percentile rank reverse scale CE (%) BW (lb) WG (lb) Milk (lb) PG (lb) YG an (lb) Fat (mm) REA (po 2 ) Marb (%) SC (cm) BIO$ F %ab ABC %wb , , , , , %ab = Percentile rank of ABC (interbreed) %wb = Percentile rank EPD (within breed) Research green; Blue neutral zone; Avoid red Continue the research LEGEND: 99 = Best; 1 = Worst 29

30 EXAMPLE 3 : CHOICE OF LIMOUSIN BULL VIA BIO FOR COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE (SELLS ALL) ABC on fixed base, percentile rank reverse scale: Attention to the scale of percentiles ranks, it is reverse compare to PATBQ and breeds association, if this is not taken into account = adverse effect and genetic step back on many traits Bull F has only one real strength which is its ribeye 30

31 EXAMPLE 4 : CHOICE OF SIMMENTAL BULL IN A MULTI- SOURCE BREEDING CENTRE (PRIVATE STATIONS) BASED ON EPD Percentile rank universal scale BW dir CE Percentile rank (%) WG PWG MCE Milk HH SC Fat REA Marb EIS (100) Average Conformation Front feet G H LEGEND: 1 = Best; 99 = Worst The EPDs are current and include data taken during the test Research green (top 25 %); Blue neutral zone (between 25 and 75 %); Avoid red (75 % and more) Back feet 31

32 EXAMPLE 4 : CHOICE OF SIMMENTAL BULL IN A PRIVATE STATION BASED ON EPD Percentile rank an universal scale: Bull G has several strenghts, at the growth level, maternal and carcass traits with a very high economic index, has good feet and legs very interesting for a purebred enterprise Bull H has very good feet and legs, a good bull to use in a commercial herd with maternal females that will bring complementary fat and marbling 32

33 EXAMPLE 4 : 33

34 EXAMPLE 4 : EIS is available with a complete evaluation, is established from EPD/ABC but expressed as an index based on

35 MY BREEDING SELECTIONS $$$ $$$ Best approach: Costs vs Benefits My priorities 35

36 PRIORITIES IN THE SELECTION Priorities Actions 1 Intensive selection of breeding bulls 2 Regular selection of breeding females 3 Use of sexed semen 4 Importation of semen and embryos 5 Embryo production 36

37 ADVICE TO BUYERS OF BULLS ON FARMS Establish breeding goals (reproduction or meat or both) Target purebred farms with a large number of breeding females Ask for animals with a complete evaluation (traditional trait but also HH, SC, REA, back fat, marbling, ), wait on the last values before completing the transaction Consult an advisor as needed (MAPAQ, Bovi-Expert, etc.) 37

38 ADVICE TO BUYERS OF BULLS ON FARMS Plan ahead and visit first, more choice, but give a positive signal to the purebred sellers avoid castrating to many or selling to auction at weaning Choose an animal without major defects Longevity Apply the precautionary principle in genetic values Animal remains improvers over time 38

39 ADVICE TO BUYERS OF BULLS ON FARMS Do not forget: More we require improving traits More high performance is required par trait More it will be difficult to find these bulls 39

40 CHOOSING A BREEDING BULL Genetic value Conformation Genealogy Genetic selection, a question of balance and Buying a bull, a business relationship. 40