EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Chocolate Cow » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:56 am

Pretty much exactly what Jake just said. It's a hard & fast rule for me that there will be no GAR in the pedigree.
One question I ask is: If 'you' have been buying registered bulls, lets say Angus, for the past 10, 15 or 20 years,,,why hasn't your cow herd improved enough that you can save a bull or two from your own cows? it's just a question. Maybe 'you' do but it seems like most attend several Spring bull sales, spending a lot of money on a yearling and are disappointed later on.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby dun » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:01 am

Chocolate Cow wrote:Pretty much exactly what Jake just said. It's a hard & fast rule for me that there will be no GAR in the pedigree.
One question I ask is: If 'you' have been buying registered bulls, lets say Angus, for the past 10, 15 or 20 years,,,why hasn't your cow herd improved enough that you can save a bull or two from your own cows? it's just a question. Maybe 'you' do but it seems like most attend several Spring bull sales, spending a lot of money on a yearling and are disappointed later on.

If they are sticking with terminal bulls that would be a good reason to not keep any of your own.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby SPH » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:17 am

The thing I don't get from those who rant constantly about EPDs is if you don't care about EPDs then why does it frustrate and consume your thoughts so much? Some people seem to be too caught up into what others are doing and lose focus on what they themselves are doing and believe in. Are there people out there who rely on EPDs too much or promote underwhelming cattle with high EPDs - of course there are but if you aren't into EPDs or into buying high EPD cattle with obvious performance and structure flaws then why let it bother you so much? Those selling and buying mostly off of EPDs and ignoring other factors will learn their lessons soon enough when the results aren't to their liking.

We do use EPDs as 1 of many tools but I can tell you the first thing we look at when we are going through the calf crop in the fall is which calves performed the best where it matters then after weights and phenotype/structure has been looked at then we finally start looking at their EPDs. We aren't going to start with EPDs and throw an underperforming or flawed calf in with the replacement heifers or sale bulls just because they have a nice set of numbers on paper. That still won't hid their actual appearance and performance and I think most knowledgeable people in the business probably make decisions the same way, the EPD only crowd is not as prominent as some probably think it is. When it comes to extremes with EPDs that is where we use some caution, especially the CE and BW because even though the subject animal may have an acceptable actual BW, if they still have a high EPD they probably have some animals in their immediate pedigree that are known to have higher BW and those traits are still part of that animal and can come to surface.

Our prime example was a bull we bought that was on the upper end of what we are usually comfortable with for BW EPDs. He had an actual BW of 85 which by most people would find no issue with that and he met what we were looking for at the time in phenotype. Well it didn't take long to realize he was not a low birthweight and easy calving bull when we started getting several calves over 100 lbs and many more in the 90's than we would like. We only run 1 herd bull with 20-25 females and that includes heifers so we don't have the luxury of erroring on a bull that most mature cows probably could calve OK with him but that's not ideal with heifers to take that chance. Bottom line is if there is a fair amount of accuracy with a BW and CE EPD there is probably enough reported births from the animals in that pedigree that factored into that EPD calculation to put some meaning behind why it may be high.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby SPH » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:43 am

Chocolate Cow wrote:Pretty much exactly what Jake just said. It's a hard & fast rule for me that there will be no GAR in the pedigree.
One question I ask is: If 'you' have been buying registered bulls, lets say Angus, for the past 10, 15 or 20 years,,,why hasn't your cow herd improved enough that you can save a bull or two from your own cows? it's just a question. Maybe 'you' do but it seems like most attend several Spring bull sales, spending a lot of money on a yearling and are disappointed later on.


That bolded part right there is a big one for anyone selling seedstock. If a bull in your sale pen isn't good enough to be using in your own herd then why are you selling him? We prefer to retain bulls we raised if we can which is why we do some AI to bring in some new bloodlines but there are occasions where we have had to go out and buy from another reputable breeder and we'll use the same selection criteria we'd use if it was one of our own bulls we were looking at using. It is nice when you can trace back an animal and their is several other relation to them on the farm to view in person too.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Jake » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:51 am

Chocolate Cow wrote:Pretty much exactly what Jake just said. It's a hard & fast rule for me that there will be no GAR in the pedigree.
One question I ask is: If 'you' have been buying registered bulls, lets say Angus, for the past 10, 15 or 20 years,,,why hasn't your cow herd improved enough that you can save a bull or two from your own cows? it's just a question. Maybe 'you' do but it seems like most attend several Spring bull sales, spending a lot of money on a yearling and are disappointed later on.



Not sure if this is directed at me or not but we historically have kept a lot of our own bulls and do occasionally now. I would say we are only 10 years in on really working at improving the herd so there is still enough in the "wood pile" that I can't account for within our own herd. I have a steadfast rule that we don't buy bulls out of cows that wouldn't be in the top 5% of our herd. This year I was able to buy bulls that were out of considerably better cows that anything we have on the place at the moment.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Bovine breeder » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:28 pm

If I'm going to a sale to buy a bull for use on my commercial cows, the first thing I'll do is get the sale book and get an idea of what I like and what i want to look at before I go to the sale so that I'm not overwhelmed. I do that solely based off epds and pictures in the catalog. Pedigree only matters to me so I can prevent inbreeding something. Yes there are certain bulls and big time breeders I like, but ultimately I chose who I think is right for the job, regardless of prefix. Once at the sale I use phenotype to separate the bulls high on my list from low. Then as the sale happens, price determines which one I buy. The epds I find most important are HPG, WW, then CED, milk, doc, $W, $en, etc
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby NEFarmwife » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:04 pm

I have no input, just wanted to say this is an interesting thread. I'm humored by how different my husband and his father are when it comes to selecting semen.

Myself? I've learned a LOT about EPD's and their thoughts (even yours) about them and I have certainly not been around cattle all my life, so I'm a "love at first site", who couldn't tell you what a "perfect" bull or cow is suppose to look like. Which is why I don't make the decisions. Something's got to be said for a cow that catches your eye though, right? My husband gets texts from me when I'm out with them and I say "look at their butts! It's the Kardashians!"
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Bright Raven » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:11 pm

NEFarmwife wrote:I have no input, just wanted to say this is an interesting thread. I'm humored by how different my husband and his father are when it comes to selecting semen.

Myself? I've learned a LOT about EPD's and their thoughts (even yours) about them and I have certainly not been around cattle all my life, so I'm a "love at first site", who couldn't tell you what a "perfect" bull or cow is suppose to look like. Which is why I don't make the decisions. Something's got to be said for a cow that catches your eye though, right? My husband gets texts from me when I'm out with them and I say "look at their butts! It's the Kardashians!


I have a cow that is registered under the name "Kim Kardashian". Her sire is the Simmental bull known by the nickname "Fat Butt". And she has the big butt that was expected.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby NEFarmwife » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:22 pm

Bright Raven wrote:
NEFarmwife wrote:I have no input, just wanted to say this is an interesting thread. I'm humored by how different my husband and his father are when it comes to selecting semen.

Myself? I've learned a LOT about EPD's and their thoughts (even yours) about them and I have certainly not been around cattle all my life, so I'm a "love at first site", who couldn't tell you what a "perfect" bull or cow is suppose to look like. Which is why I don't make the decisions. Something's got to be said for a cow that catches your eye though, right? My husband gets texts from me when I'm out with them and I say "look at their butts! It's the Kardashians!


I have a cow that is registered under the name "Kim Kardashian". Her sire is the Simmental bull known by the nickname "Fat Butt". And she has the big butt that was expected.


That is too funny! I've got to see a pic.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Bright Raven » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:31 pm

NEFarmwife wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:
NEFarmwife wrote:I have no input, just wanted to say this is an interesting thread. I'm humored by how different my husband and his father are when it comes to selecting semen.

Myself? I've learned a LOT about EPD's and their thoughts (even yours) about them and I have certainly not been around cattle all my life, so I'm a "love at first site", who couldn't tell you what a "perfect" bull or cow is suppose to look like. Which is why I don't make the decisions. Something's got to be said for a cow that catches your eye though, right? My husband gets texts from me when I'm out with them and I say "look at their butts! It's the Kardashians!


I have a cow that is registered under the name "Kim Kardashian". Her sire is the Simmental bull known by the nickname "Fat Butt". And she has the big butt that was expected.


That is too funny! I've got to see a pic.

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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Chocolate Cow » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:44 pm

Sorry Jake. I didn't mean to make my thoughts look like they were directed at you specifically. My question was a generalization. Dun, yes. Terminal bull selection would prevent keeping daughters but possibly not a son. Anyway, it's just something that's rattled around in my head while spraying musk thistle or whatever. Thanks for pointing that out.
So, if you use terminal sires, where do 'you' get your female replacements? 'you' being a generic term. not anyone specifically.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Allenw » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:55 pm

Thanks for the responses I was checking to see what every one thought and see if I missed the bus some where.

I'm having to watch my brother degrade Dad's cow herd, a good 75+ years work between Dad and Granddad in them. He can't buy a bull with out EPD's, I think the bulls are all half brothers out of the same sire now. the last one he brought home my son and I both thought it was a heifer from a bit of a distance.

I have a hand full of Dad's cows but unfortunately I've been having to use one of their old bulls to breed them. I am at the point I have to get enough money together and buy my own bull. I got my feet knocked out from under me a year and a half ago when I had to stop and take care of some health problems. I'm still trying to get my head back above water maybe by next spring i can make things work out.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby NEFarmwife » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:10 pm

Allenw wrote:Thanks for the responses I was checking to see what every one thought and see if I missed the bus some where.

I'm having to watch my brother degrade Dad's cow herd, a good 75+ years work between Dad and Granddad in them. He can't buy a bull with out EPD's, I think the bulls are all half brothers out of the same sire now. the last one he brought home my son and I both thought it was a heifer from a bit of a distance.

I have a hand full of Dad's cows but unfortunately I've been having to use one of their old bulls to breed them. I am at the point I have to get enough money together and buy my own bull. I got my feet knocked out from under me a year and a half ago when I had to stop and take care of some health problems. I'm still trying to get my head back above water maybe by next spring i can make things work out.


I don't know enough about it but someone we spoke with the other day, says he leases bulls for his herd. Not something we'd do, as we AI most everything and run our own for cleanup but if it pencils out, might be a good option for you? I didn't inquire about cost or the liability.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Allenw » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:26 pm

NEFarmwife wrote:
Allenw wrote:Thanks for the responses I was checking to see what every one thought and see if I missed the bus some where.

I'm having to watch my brother degrade Dad's cow herd, a good 75+ years work between Dad and Granddad in them. He can't buy a bull with out EPD's, I think the bulls are all half brothers out of the same sire now. the last one he brought home my son and I both thought it was a heifer from a bit of a distance.

I have a hand full of Dad's cows but unfortunately I've been having to use one of their old bulls to breed them. I am at the point I have to get enough money together and buy my own bull. I got my feet knocked out from under me a year and a half ago when I had to stop and take care of some health problems. I'm still trying to get my head back above water maybe by next spring i can make things work out.


I don't know enough about it but someone we spoke with the other day, says he leases bulls for his herd. Not something we'd do, as we AI most everything and run our own for cleanup but if it pencils out, might be a good option for you? I didn't inquire about cost or the liability.


It's a thought and I appreciate the idea. I've thought about finding some one to AI part of them but I'd have to get something set up to do it. I've got a couple of friends that could do it but they're both busy and can be a bit scattered. one in their work schedule which is as unpredictable as mine, and the other one is well blonde and something is always going wrong around her.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Son of Butch » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:59 am

Chocolate Cow wrote:It's a hard & fast rule for me that there will be no GAR in the pedigree.

Care to explain why?
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