True Grit Farms wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:
This gets to the heart of the issue. I see lots of criticism of AI sires based on the implications that they are not selected for in as rigorous conditions as the so called "local breeder" does who breeds for multiple generations.
I think that is a mis-implication. Breeders who produce AI sires also breed for many generations and they select their best bulls based on most or all of the criteria you listed.
In fact, the local breeder sells lots of bulls. Based on that volume alone, I would doubt that every bull even comes close to meeting the criteria an AI sire does.
I can't see where that's factual at all. Most cattle that are used for AI and ET are pampered, and need to be. I can't imagine trying to run range cattle through a chute 3 or 4 times within a couple of weeks. Most AI bulls are bred with EPD'S in mind, aren't yours? For the most part AI bulls have never had to walk the walk, hustle and get the job done. The toughness and hardiness is getting bred or fed out of the US beef herd on both sides.
Your point is that AI Sires are boarded under different conditions than "range cattle". Thus, they are not subjected to the rigors of a bull produced under conditions where they are pulled off the cow at weaning and reared in a bull pen or bull pasture.
First, the large volume bull producers handle their prospective bulls not much differently that the producers that strive to meet the criteria for producing an AI sire. Using a real example, I know Angus bull producers who have been breeding and selecting bulls for many generations. If I drive to their farm today, they are rearing their bulls under the same conditions as the bulls are at Boyd Cattle Company. I drive by Boyd every day. You see their best bulls out in a pasture just like you do their neighbors who are just running commercial cows. Now, I will confess, I don't know what the feeding regiment is. But it is probably not a lot different than if I drive to Poe Angus and watch how Diane feeds her bulls out for breeding bulls. (BTW: I have actually done that, I know how she feeds them)
Furthermore, there is an implication that because they are boarded under "pampered" conditions, then, if you use their semen, the way the bull was boarded will affect the offspring produced from that semen. That is a mis-implication. How the bull is pampered is not encoded in the DNA of his semen.
If you look at the big breeders (I will use Angus) who have a track record of producing AI semen bulls, like Connealy, Schaff Angus Valley, etc. they have been breeding for generations. What is important is not how the bull is boarded because all the bull is - a semen producing machine. What is important is what is in his pedigree, EPDs, phenotype, genotype, etc.
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