EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

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Allenw
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EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Allenw » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:57 pm

EPD followers what's your priorities when it comes to selecting cattle? The animal, the breeder, the pedigree, or the numbers?

I've been on the sidelines for a while and have been surprised by the emphasis on EPD numbers.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Midtenn » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:47 pm

When selecting sires, first priority is the animal himself. If he passes phenotype then I use epd's accordingly.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby TCRanch » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:52 pm

I don't AI but agree with Midtenn. Pedigree means nothing to me but I'm commercial.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Bright Raven » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 pm

I only run 15 to 18 mature cows. 100 % AI. Fire Sweep Ranch (Kris) does all my sire selections. I execute the plan.

She selects the sire to the cow using all the tools, information, etc.

It all has equal value - phenotype, genotype (same as pedigree in function), desired traits to improve faults in the cow, EPDs, etc.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Nesikep » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:48 pm

I guess it's a combination of all of the above.. I do like to take a good hard look at the animal, and the other animals from that breeder, when I've got a short-list of the animals I like, I'll look at EPD's.. I don't know pedigrees by name well enough to matter.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Air gator » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:45 pm

I look at eye appeal first, then pedigree and look at epds for fertility and red flags. If the bull is out of a bull that I don't really care for I would be inclined to pass. I would want to avoid extremes. There is such a thing as too much growth. I think I would be concerned about daughters if you keep breeding for growth. I think extreme growth females don't make the best mama cows.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby kd4au » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:07 pm

I would say if your buying an Angus bull you better start by looking at his feet.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby FlyingLSimmentals » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:04 pm

I'll say for 1st I'll check the animal looking for his or her faults, appearance and disposition. 2nd the Epd's CE, BW, API, Milk mostly. 3rd the pedigree, how will it mix with mine. Lastly I guess the breeder. Guess I'll try and buy from different breeders to mix the pedigrees better how I like.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Nesikep » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:06 am

Air gator wrote:I look at eye appeal first, then pedigree and look at epds for fertility and red flags. If the bull is out of a bull that I don't really care for I would be inclined to pass. I would want to avoid extremes. There is such a thing as too much growth. I think I would be concerned about daughters if you keep breeding for growth. I think extreme growth females don't make the best mama cows.

Eye appeal will differ for different people, but I agree on principle!.. Eye appeal to me means a proud stance, head held high, good feet, udders, etc and I'm not a fan of blockheads

About extreme growth, I think it depends on HOW they grow, I don't like extreme frame females, but this year I have a heifer that's 50 lb's heavier than the next heaviest steer, she's not taller, she's just very meaty and wide from the shoulders all the way back, her mother was born 2 months later than the rest of the calves, and had the same build, by a year old (10 months for her) there was no difference between them and she's repeatedly made the best calf of the year, and isn't a big honking cow.. So she, if nothing else, is the exception to the rule.. I have other heifers this year that are taller, and are not slouches in the weight department, but just lack the meat and "look" I am going for
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Allenw » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:31 am

Nesikep wrote:I guess it's a combination of all of the above.. I do like to take a good hard look at the animal, and the other animals from that breeder, when I've got a short-list of the animals I like, I'll look at EPD's.. I don't know pedigrees by name well enough to matter.


That mirrors my thoughts closely. Looking at the pedigree for me would be looking for how much of their own genetics they are using and how much out side blood. I would be looking for line breeding for constancy, or is there a continual stream of outside blood coming in.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Son of Butch » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:28 am

I only use EPD of A.I. sires and I don't trust them until .70 accuracy or higher
When buying bulls phenotype first. Price 2nd and price does eliminate a number of breeders, as does location.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby boondocks » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:46 pm

They have to pass phenotype first. Then I look at EPDs, and eliminate any bulls that are low accuracy for the traits I look for most: calving ease, docility, marbling. Looking at growth a bit more too now.
As a fair-newbie, that's my simplified plan. I have an experienced buddy (retired AI tech, Cornell ag school guy) who helps select for traits where we need to tailor something specific. Milk, eg.
I don't get too deep in the weeds as to outcross, etc. Try to mix up the breeders a bit but do tend to favor Conneally bulls so far. Seem to get better conception, may be luck.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Jake » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:16 am

Pedigree first, I always have in mind the genetics I want to use and the ones that I want to stay away from. Phenotype next, then EPDS. Only time I really care about EPDS are picking heifer bulls.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby SPH » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:34 am

EPDs are just 1 of many tools to use when making selection decisions, no one should be using them as their only criteria for selection. Phenotype/structure, actual animal performance, and the pedigree and performance of those animals in the pedigree all factor into our decisions as well as looking for some higher accuracies with EPD criteria. Found over the years that CE and BW EPDs if enough accuracy behind them can be good predictors so that is 1 thing we are careful about as we have taken gambles on higher end BW EPD bulls before and regretted it. A live calf sure beats a dead one and the older you get the less you want to mess with pulling calves.

I actually like to go back through pedigrees and look at performance data if available. Like to see some dams with longevity and above average WW and YW performance ratios, that can be tougher with younger females because they just don't have enough calves on the ground yet to have that data but their dam hopefully does. I know a lot of our better young cows you usually only have to go back 1 generation to see their dam is/was a good performer as well.

Everyone has their ways and priorities of selection or what they are selection for so there is no "only 1 way is the only way" when it comes to genetic selection but it is short sighted not to use all the tools available to you in some form or another too.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby dun » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:53 am

SPH wrote:EPDs are just 1 of many tools to use when making selection decisions, no one should be using them as their only criteria for selection. Phenotype/structure, actual animal performance, and the pedigree and performance of those animals in the pedigree all factor into our decisions as well as looking for some higher accuracies with EPD criteria. Found over the years that CE and BW EPDs if enough accuracy behind them can be good predictors so that is 1 thing we are careful about as we have taken gambles on higher end BW EPD bulls before and regretted it. A live calf sure beats a dead one and the older you get the less you want to mess with pulling calves.

I actually like to go back through pedigrees and look at performance data if available. Like to see some dams with longevity and above average WW and YW performance ratios, that can be tougher with younger females because they just don't have enough calves on the ground yet to have that data but their dam hopefully does. I know a lot of our better young cows you usually only have to go back 1 generation to see their dam is/was a good performer as well.

Everyone has their ways and priorities of selection or what they are selection for so there is no "only 1 way is the only way" when it comes to genetic selection but it is short sighted not to use all the tools available to you in some form or another too.

Pretty well sums it all up.
Every few years we will try a young unproven on our older well proven cows. If he doesn;t work out we'll dump the semen. Takes a few years to see if he works for us but there have been several bulls that I finally got around to using towards their end of life and I had wished I had used them earlier. So far in the past 10 years we have had 1 bull that didn;t work out but we didn;t know it till his daughter was 10 years old and her udder fell apart.
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