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Saturday, 25 June 2011

What do you breed for?

Breeding is probably a number one factor of the cattle industry, wether your breeding for range cattle, shows, or beef you look back at genetics that will work for you.  Wether your AI ing (artificial insemination) or just doing it naturally with a bull you have probably chosen a sire that will best match your needs. When breeding your striving to produce the best calves you can in your herd. By selecting sires and dams that have proven them selves superior, you aim for somehting better or just as good.

"one of our bulls we purchased this year to breed to our best purebred cows, hopefully the calves are good in January !"

"Generator is one of our most prized bulls even though he deceased he is still theroughly used in the Hereford industry today, his breeding and offspring have been very successful"

Us being Purebred breeders the main thing we aim for in our breeding is to make our bull calf offspring as as successful as we can. For our bull calves will be sold to other purebred breeders to improve there cow herd as well. The better quality of bulls we have the more buyers we will have interested in purchasing them.

Somethings people will look for when breeding is EPD's. EPD's are an estimate of numbers and data of what a bull or cow will transmit to their offspring. EPD's are found only in Purebred cattle that are registered. You can find a cow or bulls EPD's in different breed associations. Some information they will give you is milk, birth weight, and other information regarding the animals preformance. Currently sixteen breeds produce EPD's and publish a sire summary. Another valuable thing breeders look at is an animals pedigree. Which contains all an animals information including all their extended relations.

For those of you not familiar with EPD's or pedigrees here is an example for you , this is a cow I own pedigree and EPD's.
When breeding for range cattle people breed for a more easy fleshing kind of cattle, meaning easier doing. They can stand harsh weather conditions with out loosing a lot of weight and not need a ton of feed to survive. You don't need to put a lot into them to get a lot out. With a good hair coat, and a good set of feet and legs under them they can roam freely in large fields. Fertility is a major thing that ranchers must look at when breeding, the better fertility the more chance you will have at having a big calf crop there for when it's time to sell your calves on market more money is in the bank! Gaining is another aspect that should be bred for the more gain you have the more money per pound. With range cattle you are not only breeding for feedlot you are breeding for the preformance of your herd for it contains your future females that will produce offspring.

When breeding for show cattle your breeding for future champions. These cattle are thick, full of muscle, and have a good frame to them. Hair is a big thing when it comes to show cattle the more hair you have the more you can change the animals appearance and hide faults that may take away from the animals appearance. It does not matter if it's range cattle or show cattle a docile temperment is always something that you want to breed for. The better temperment the easier to work with they are. Exspecially show cattle who have to do a lot of standing around and being pampered it can make a huge difference on the job you can do and your success in what your doing!

"Back in the Day Champion Female at The Calgary Stampede"

Feedlot cattle are a little different sure you want them to have a decent set of feet and legs but it's not a huge priority as long as they can get from the feed to the water. Gain is the number one thing your looking for in these cattle.. You want to find a mix of breeds or animals that potentially have proven them selves to out gain any other. Rate of gain means the more money you make per pound. You will also be breeding for proper muscling to ensure quality meat.

"Some Feedlot steers"

I hope I have given you some information on breeding and some of the things we breed for and why!

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