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Comments on bull EPD's

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tom4018

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Would anyone care to look up these 2 Angus bulls and give me their feedback on them? I have not seen these yet but been looking at some others and these seem to have a lot better numbers.

14765240

14757453

thanks
 

Faster horses

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I'm always up to trying to learn something new. So, what do these numbers mean and how would we go about looking them up? Don't you have a name, breeder, etc? Who has these bulls?

I'd be glad to help, but haven't got a clue how to start with just these numbers. :???:
 

DOC HARRIS

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tom4018 said:
Would anyone care to look up these 2 Angus bulls and give me their feedback on them? I have not seen these yet but been looking at some others and these seem to have a lot better numbers.

14765240

14757453

thanks
Go to the web site that Mike suggested and print out the two pedigrees. Compare them. Then compare them to OTHER bull's pedigrees. It would be pretty self -explanatory. They are half sibs. The $Values are not good. (They are LOUSY!) The birth weight and Milk EPD's are fine! Believe it or not! If you don't agree with me, PM me and I will elucidate! There are NO Carcass #'s on either one. The Ultrasound numbers are putrid on the one who is listed! I don't know what kind of cows you have, but you can do BETTER - whatever your cow herd
EPD average is! - - -Unless you are breeding up with Jersey cows. If you think that these have better numbers than some you have been looking at - you have been looking at some pretty low quality and out-of-date animals!

You can go to semen suppliers and improve your herd EPD averages by 200% - 300% over these bulls using AI, and save yourself about 10 years of - S L O W - frustation. My advice - LOOK and STUDY before you leap off a cliff - and have to slowly crawl back up. PM me if you don't understand why I am saying these things!

This answer is pretty terse - but you asked!

DOC HARRIS
 

SDSteve

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On a young unproven bull epd's aren't worth the paper they are printed on. The highest accuracy I saw was 33%. EPD's are way overrated on a young bull. On a proven bull used AI in a bunch of different herds now that is a whole different story.
 

Faster horses

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Very interesting the different way folks look at cattle. What Doc Harris mentioned wouldn't be what would cause me to shy away from these bulls. First and formost, I am not a number person, I am a pedigree person. I think numbers have gotten us in trouble. People breed cattle with high numbers to cattle with low numbers, they breed cattle with high numbers to cattle with higher numbers. What about FUNCTION?

What I would want to know about FIRST is the DAM to these bulls because replacement heifers are everything to us. Also, what do you intend to use them for? Terminal cross? Replacement heifers? For terminal cross I would definitely look at different things than for replacement heifers.

I also want to breed LIKE TO LIKE. In my opinion the individuals in this pedigree are not alike. 6807 is a moderate sized bull; as far as I know R&J Cattle are BIG. So no consistency there. Hoff cattle are HUGE. So you have moderate, BIG and HUGE. Nothing I would pick based on that alone. I want consistency.

What is the scrotal on the bulls? I would want to know that~why do we buy bulls? Yep, better watch the scrotal size.

Anyhow, that is just an example of the different way I view potential bulls over the way Doc Harris does. Doesn't mean he is right and I am wrong or vice-versa. Just different. The factory means the most to me. Not numbers.
 

tom4018

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Doc, I thank you for your comments. I am just learning a lot about epd's and it seems the bulls that I am finding are all below average. Just does not seem to be a good selection around here. Looked at some bulls the other day that where nice looking but their numbers were even lower.

Running just a commercial herd and our current bull is not registered but has done well. Trying to improve but its not easy to find what we want.
 

DOC HARRIS

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Faster horses said:
Very interesting the different way folks look at cattle. What Doc Harris mentioned wouldn't be what would cause me to shy away from these bulls. First and formost, I am not a number person, I am a pedigree person. I think numbers have gotten us in trouble. People breed cattle with high numbers to cattle with low numbers, they breed cattle with high numbers to cattle with higher numbers. What about FUNCTION?

What I would want to know about FIRST is the DAM to these bulls because replacement heifers are everything to us. Also, what do you intend to use them for? Terminal cross? Replacement heifers? For terminal cross I would definitely look at different things than for replacement heifers.

I also want to breed LIKE TO LIKE. In my opinion the individuals in this pedigree are not alike. 6807 is a moderate sized bull; as far as I know R&J Cattle are BIG. So no consistency there. Hoff cattle are HUGE. So you have moderate, BIG and HUGE. Nothing I would pick based on that alone. I want consistency.

What is the scrotal on the bulls? I would want to know that~why do we buy bulls? Yep, better watch the scrotal size.

Anyhow, that is just an example of the different way I view potential bulls over the way Doc Harris does. Doesn't mean he is right and I am wrong or vice-versa. Just different. The factory means the most to me. Not numbers.
Perhaps to the uninitiated, this ensuing discussion may appear to be another "WAR OF TWO WORLDS!" - - -WRONG! - - -

In any discussion relating to improving the Genetics of Breeding Animals - in this instance -Beef Cattle - there must be a unanimity or consensus of opinion in regard to a tenet or doctrine. In my opinion, Faster horses and I DO agree on the BASIC TENET of breeding beef cattle: IMPROVEMENT OF PERFORMANCE OF PROGENY! This should be the ultimate goal of every Beef Cattle Producer - whether it be Terminal - or - Replacement of Breeding Stock.

FH - you stated that you are a pedigree person. As am I! Big Time. EPD's are part of that pedigree, but not the ONLY part. Phenotype (what they LOOK like), Genotype (what they ARE by virtue of their hereditary characteristics dictated by their Genetic Code {DNA or RNA}), EPD's ( the EXPECTED (NOT Guaranteed, but Expected) PROGENY (offspring or descendants) DIFFERENCES ( Positive OR Negative determinations pertaining to specific TRAITS of an individual) COMPARED to the AVERAGE of ALL of the EPD's of individual animals within that particular breed, FUNCTION ( Consistency based on Performance) - - -ALL of these elements and factors combine to 'mold' a template of our "PERFECT" individual Breeding Animal - - -a goal which, hopefully, can never be achieved - otherwise we will stop striving for Utopia.

I said all of the above to say this: I agree that the almost maniacal concentration of EPD's in the past (particularly in the Angus breed) has almost 'thrown the baby out with the bath water'! I feel that the excessive stress on MILK-MILK-MILK for the past - say - 10 or 12 years has been overdone to the point that a lot of our Angus Females are beginning to lose their 'BEEFY' hindquarters and are looking like what I call 'Funnel Butts'. Milk production is fine - where it is needed. But as stated above, the Milk EPD indicates above or below the average for the BREED! HELLO!! If we continue to increase MILK, we will approach being a Dairy breed (some of the Butts of our cows look like Jersy's right now!) FH - I agree. Common sense - common sense - common sense and CONSISTENCY!

Now - let's talk about Ba - - Scrotal Size. Scrotal size ( here's that EPD again!) signify's (by virtue of the Endocrine System) production of Sperm, Testosterone (Pituitary gland ) vigorous mating tendencies, and apparently has a strong influence on the potential FERTILITY of the Heifer Calves of the Sire! A very critical TRAIT! And that goes directly back to the DAM of these Bulls - and Their Sires - ad infinitum.

Faster H - I think that we are singing from the same page - you are a Soprano and I am a Bass. But it is the SAME melody. The 'numbers' are what puts the address on the 'factory' And "HETEROSIS" is the director which helps us to sing in harmony. :wink: Now, if we can find an Alto and a Tenor - By Jove - -I think we've GOT it! :D :D

DOC HARRIS
 

Jason

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Tom I am a numbers guy and agree in principle with Doc, but the real world means that not all cattle will have top 10% EPDS.

If these two bulls look good, you like the breeder and the price is right for you, they have value.

Both have low BW epds and at 60 yw are still a sight better than many bulls being used. I know purebred breeders using herdsires with 40's.

Feed and nutrition has a bunch to do with how the bulls look, top breeders are manipulating early epds by overfeeding some calves. Time and accuracy of the epds fixes that. Trouble is some of these young bulls make a fortune on early semen sales and never develop.

The carcass and $ numbers are just computer generated on these 2 bulls so I wouldn't even consider them.

The standard for a good commercial bull is in my opinion less critical than for a purebred herdsire. Cattle tend back to average unless pressure is exerted on them in the desired direction. Unless you know where your herd is performing currently, you have no idea where to improve. Using a purebred bull with basic numbers is a good start. As you see how they perform, you can look for higher or lower numbers in each area on your next bull.
 

Faster horses

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I think I am getting headshy about the word PERFORMANCE. We have so much performance in the Angus breed, how much is enough? When is the trade-off not worth it? How much can we expect a cow to do?

MATURE SIZE is a looming problem in the Angus breed, IMO, and I believe it to be a detrimental side-effect of PERFORMANCE.

We don't have a problem with buying a bull from a 1400# cow. What scares the heck out of us is to buy a son of a 1700-1800# cow (which is not all that uncommon in registered herds) and breed that bull to a 1300-1400# cow. What do you think is going to happen? B-I-G-G-E-R Cattle!There are too many breeders raising BULLS, and not giving enough consideration as to what is going to happen to the herds these bulls go into.

So many people are into the EPD's; yet some don't have a clue as to what they even mean. We have folks who want us to save them a bull calf; we don't know what our calves are as far as numbers (EPD's) and the people who want them, don't care. It has to be fustrating for a purebred breeder to come up with all these numbers that are not valued by some of the commercial breeders. Yet others will buy from the numbers and not much else.

While we are on this subject, would someone take the time to explain the meaning of the $EN values? I think the numbers in this catagory work in reverse of what they appear; in that a plus is not necessarily a good thing. But I am not sure.

Thanks!

And Doc Harris, I appreciate your post.
 

Andy

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FH(While we are on this subject, would someone take the time to explain the meaning of the $EN values? I think the numbers in this catagory work in reverse of what they appear; in that a plus is not necessarily a good thing. But I am not sure)
You are correct. The $en is what the daughters of a bull should cost in relation to an average cow. So a 5 would mean that cow will cost $5 more a year to keep around vs an average cow with a 0.
 

DOC HARRIS

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Andy said:
FH(While we are on this subject, would someone take the time to explain the meaning of the $EN values? I think the numbers in this catagory work in reverse of what they appear; in that a plus is not necessarily a good thing. But I am not sure)
You are correct. The $en is what the daughters of a bull should cost in relation to an average cow. So a 5 would mean that cow will cost $5 more a year to keep around vs an average cow with a 0.
ANDY;

Go to: http://www.angus.org/AngusEducation.html
In the left Blue pane - click on - Angus Education Center
Scroll down to: Performance Programs: EPD's, $ Values, and more
Scroll down to: $ Values - click on: Cow Energy Value ($EN)

Read several times!

DOC HARRIS
 

Northern Rancher

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I think maybe the Angus breed is starting to generate E.P.D's just for the sake of having them-alot of breeders are using them more for marketing than for actual improvement in their situation.
 

Faster horses

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NR, I think you may have something there.

And all these other things now, Wean value, Feedlot value, Grid value, Beef value, $EN~I'm beginning to feel blown away. So rather than blow away, I'm just not going to pay that much attention to them. Who knows how accurate they are anyway?

Sometimes we can have TOO MUCH information.
 

DOC HARRIS

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Faster horses said:
NR, I think you may have something there.

And all these other things now, Wean value, Feedlot value, Grid value, Beef value, $EN~I'm beginning to feel blown away. So rather than blow away, I'm just not going to pay that much attention to them. Who knows how accurate they are anyway?

Sometimes we can have TOO MUCH information.
FH - I feel cut to the core! :eek: I was pleased with my discourse on EPD's a few posts ago, and I was hoping that you were totally convinced that there was some merit to their study and understanding. :( I will admit - it isn't easy to combine ALL of the information that is available at hand today, but - PERSEVERE - and be steadfast in your efforts to improve your breed stock. One should use what information is applicable to their needs - and - by the same token - AVOID those factors which are irrelevant to your needs of the moment. It is important to be aware of EVERYTHING, so as to be able to select what is important to your particular herd.

Now - do your homework - as, perhaps, there will be a :shock: POP Quiz - or maybe even a Blue Book Exam - - unexpectedly! :eek: Your Final grade will depend on it. :wink:
 

alabama

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The weaning and yearling weight on both bulls look low to me. The angus boys have done a good jub over the last years and you can get much more production for a fair price then the bulls you listed. With EPD's alone, I think you are looking at some low end bulls. There is alot more to bulls than EPD's so go look. you may get some good bulls cheep but with low EPD's the odds are aginist you.
 

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