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EPD question

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:09 pm
by Cada22
We are looking at purchasing a new bull to breed 20 heifers that have just had their first calf within the last month. I still want to be somewhat cautious on birthweight but need some bigger calves that will grow better than the ones we have on ground now. The heifers are all Angus cross and have calves off a LBW Brangus bull. I am not asking this to turn into a discussion about AI. I just want to know what your main epds are that meet this criteria and what benchmarks we should be looking for. Example WW of xx or higher. Bull will be SIMM or simangus.


Re: EPD question

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:54 pm
by gizmom
I would look more at ced than birth weight, what you want is a calf shaped for a heifer to handle and most heifers can handle a larger calf. If you stack low birth weight epd’s you will start seeing little tiny calves that just can’t catch up. If you use a moderate birthweight bull with a high ced you should be fine.


Re: EPD question

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:55 pm
by Son of Butch
Heterosis comes from crossbreeding and it increases birth weights, making epd reliability more difficult.

To start you need to know the average benchmarks for breed/breeds in question.
Simmental breed average
ce 9.2
bw + 1.8
ww 62
yw 90

doc 11
cw 26
API 121
TI 69

For a Simmental bull I'd suggest shooting for breed average or better in each of the following
ce 12 (top 25%)
bw .6 (25%)
ww 67 (30%)
yw 98 - 118 (30% - top 4%)

Simmental Hybrids average
ce 11
bw .5
ww 60
yw 92

Re: EPD question

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:14 pm
by Cada22
Thank you SOB. Nice to have some benchmark ideas to shoot for. I appreciate the info.

Re: EPD question

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:20 pm
by bse
My opinion use something with some performance, people have gone crazy with high CED LOW BW all its doing is causing problems for these cows, if your what now are cows can't have a 75lb calf then in my opinion its because to much LOW BW over the years.
Not sure about everywhere but around here you can buy a really good performance bull cheaper than a meadiocre heifer bull.
Butch has put the averages for the breeds your looking at, stay average or even a little higher or lower on CED.
If you sale at weining high WW if you hold them a bit longer high YW, with some accuracy which will be low on young bulls, look at the Accuracy of both parents.

Re: EPD question

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:44 am
by wbvs58
My cows with their 1st calf at foot I treat as a mature cow and breed to whatever bull I think suits, some will be calving ease some not so and I would not expect to have any trouble. Seems once that first one gets through that pelvis things get stretched a bit and subsequent ones are a lot easier, also for 2/3 of the time they are growing the 2nd calf in the belly they are feeding the first one and even after they wean it they are catching up with growth so the 2nd calf will not be overgrown. I find my maiden heifers always seem to be in too good condition when they calve as 2 year olds and calf weights can be a bit higher than they should.

So choosing a bull I would go for a bit of performance, I assume you will be keeping it for more than 1 year.


Re: EPD question

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:10 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
If you are concerned with CE on coming 3 year olds, I am going to "assume" you have been using CE bulls pretty heavily. As mentioned, if you keep "stacking" CE bulls in your breeding program, you are going to end up with females that can't spit out a small calf.
There are many bulls in the Simmental breed that have great CE with lots of growth - which used to be very unusual because they are antagonistic traits. Small at birth usually meant small at WW & YW.
You need to watch Maternal CE - not just the direct CE. Maternal CE means the calving ability of the calf you are trying to produce. That's what you need to watch.
You can go to the breed association web site for breed average or just pick up an AI semen book like ABS or Genex and they have breed averages listed.

Re: EPD question

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:04 am
by Son of Butch
I know, I know Simmental is the best calving ease breed ever. (sarcasm intended)
I pulled too many calves from Simmental bulls back in the '90s to swallow the hype. (Once burned twice shy)

When selecting an unproven bull to run on your herd the epd accuracy is going to be extremely low.
I do not think when selecting benchmarks for a Simmental bull to run on crossbred cows that using breed average or
better for ced and bw is in any way being overly cautious and by doing so you've left room for a margin of error.
Surprisingly when running .25 accuracy bulls epds aren't 100% accurate. :) (again sarcasm intended)

By the way, Jeanne made an excellent point about CEM if you are going to keep replacements.
Simmental breed average for CEM 8.7 and CEM 12 is top 15% (for reference) below MCE 6 is in the bottom 20%

Re: EPD question

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:06 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
All breeds have changed drastically since the 90's.