Needing help with Hereford EPD's

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Ky hills
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Needing help with Hereford EPD's

Postby Ky hills » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:54 pm

I am thinking about bringing in a new Hereford bull, and don't know much about Hereford EPD's, mainly interested in CE and BW. I know that with Angus a CED of 7 or higher is considered heifer acceptable, and BW of around 2.5 or lower. I would consider 2 - 4 BW to be moderate for Angus. With Herefords, I am wondering what is considered a heifer acceptable CE, and BW. I am not necessarily looking for a heifer bull but would like to keep the BW moderate. Some of the CED's that I am looking at are, -0.6 CE and 4.2 BW, 1.1 CE, 2.6 BW, and 1.8 CE, 3.2 BW.
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frieghttrain
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Re: Needing help with Hereford EPD's

Postby frieghttrain » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:00 pm

First I don't know alot about Herefords other then what we've used in the commercial herd but I'll see if i can help you. Last years avg spring epd for CE was 1 Bw was 3.2. That said I with my limited knowledge of herfs I don't think I'd be afraid of using the last 2 bulls on purebred Hereford heifers, BUT with that said i do know that if those bulls are low acc it can be a cr@pshoot, a heifer bull can quickly turn into a cow bull only. I hope this helped some. Hopefully some of the smart people on the boards will chime in
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Lazy M
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Re: Needing help with Hereford EPD's

Postby Lazy M » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:06 pm

I believe that a CE of 2 or higher is considered heifer acceptable for Hereford
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mrvictordomino
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Re: Needing help with Hereford EPD's

Postby mrvictordomino » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:20 pm

Agree with Lazy M. When selecting your new bull it would also be nice to see where the seller is using his own bulls on his own heifers to see the results, not just relying on numbers on a paper. Lighter birthweights are nice but type and shape can be more of an issue than birthweight in calving issues.
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Re: Needing help with Hereford EPD's

Postby SPH » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:33 pm

Breed average for Herefords are CE 1.2 and BW 3.2 Anything higher than 1.2 CE is better than breed average and anything lower than 3.2 BW is better than breed average. One thing to keep in mind when looking at EPDs though is the accuracy numbers right below them. The lower the accuracy the less reliable the EPD is going to be. It's probably easier for someone who breeds registered cattle to go back through a pedigree and be able to see what kind of breeding is behind that bull and can point out animals known to have certain extremes such as heavy birth weights whereas a commercial guy not as familiar with the breed may not know what to look for. Everyone has their own opinions when it comes to calving ease too. We prefer not to have to assist and with heifers we aim for a BW of no more than lower 80's and everything else we prefer 90 lbs or below. Some low 90's are still ok with mature cows but the closer you get to 100 lbs we start to worry about calving ease issues if it becomes a pattern.

Also agree with what mrvictordomino said too, knowing what kind of program the seller is running and seeing some home-bred results being used in that program helps too. When it comes to CE and BW EPDs and actual birth weights too there are so many factors that can skew those too like what kind of environment and nutrition cattle are raised in, what method of recording birth weights and how consistent the breeder is getting an accurate weight. How much data is the breeder reporting to AHA which that raw data also factors into EPD calculations and accuracies as well. A reputable breeder won't be hesitant to share raw data they collect on their cattle and I think that paired with acceptable EPDs should give you a good idea what kind of animal you are looking at. If you were to walk out into our pastures and lots and ask about any particular animal, if we raised them which is pretty much everything except for 2 cows we'll have weights for birth, weaning, yearling, and usually some other weight dates such as between weaning and yearling plus the weight on every cow in the herd the day we weaned calves as we run our cows across the scale at weaning time too. We DNA test all our bulls both the ones we keep to use ourselves and sell along with getting scrotal, hip height,and ultrasound scans at yearling so we have nothing to hide when potential buyers come to look.

Would be great if every registered seedstock breeder was more diligent in collecting and reporting raw data on their cattle and it would make EPDs more accurate and reliable if more did so. AHA awards TPR status to breeders who submit data at all levels of production: https://hereford.org/genetics/recognition-programs/gold-tpr Sadly just 127 breeders currently are recognized as TPR breeders which is a pretty low number considering there are probably thousands of Hereford breeders across the country. There are probably some programs that just miss the TPR criteria due to their calving seasons or herd size and environmental or management challenges of being able to meet the deadlines to qualify that still may still collect meaningful raw data too.
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