Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

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Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby hornedfrogbbq » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:36 pm

I'd love to know everyone's thoughts on the HP EPD. We retain heifers and are trying to improve our herd annually so fertility and HP SHOULD be very important for us. Anyone think it is bunk or dismiss this particular EPD? If you believe in it, what is your cutoff?
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby jscunn » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:11 am

I want to believe it and I want to use it. I just cant in unproven bulls. Seen too many of them move too much before a bull has even had time to have daughters old enough to breed.

I put more faith in it in proven bulls, 5 yrs old and older with a decent amount of progeny. We don't run cows too rough so anything over 50% would be ok for me.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Ebenezer » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:07 am

You lose more females on breed back at 2.5 or 3 YO (depending on age at first calf) so HP is sort of lukewarm in usefulness. Unless you use true terminal type bulls that you need to avoid because all of their daughters need to go to the feedlot with the steer mates. I do not know that HP is a priority but the bulls with low positives and negatives would be avoided by most if I get the point of it. The point is, breeding by EPDs, seeking the most of certain traits via EPDs and the selection system in the breed has created a problem that has been addressed with the EPD.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Stocker Steve » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:20 am

Ebenezer wrote:breeding by EPDs, seeking the most of certain traits via EPDs and the selection system in the breed has created a problem that has been addressed with the EPD.


So the more EPDs the better :cowboy:
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Ebenezer » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:10 am

Stocker Steve wrote:
Ebenezer wrote:breeding by EPDs, seeking the most of certain traits via EPDs and the selection system in the breed has created a problem that has been addressed with the EPD.


So the more EPDs the better :cowboy:

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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby jdg » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am

If you really want to increase heifer fertility, choose programs that stress fertility, and not growth. (especially programs that have a similar environment and management style to your program)

Then come back and breed growth in your terminal cross. You will make way more progress in one generation that fiddling with slight variations in HP epd.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Air gator » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:48 pm

This is a post from Dave Nichols of Iowa that I found very interesting....it is old but hopefully still relevant.

From Dave Nichols in IA (posted on Advantage):

Data is automatically submitted when a sire's daughter reports her first calf. She is compared to the other sires daughters contemporary group and the Epd is reported as a deviation as are all Epds that are based on phenotypic data.

The first HP sire summery we had the highest EPD (Nichols Extra H6) we also had the worst bull (Nichols Black Ink). I was sure that Extra H6 was accurate, but I was sure that Black Ink's Epd was incorrect, because his beautiful females fit all the parameters of what are considered ideal Angus cows and all had visual indicaters of fecundity. I said to our foreman, Bill Antisel, that Black Ink surely was not that bad. He retorted, "are you kidding, we don't have any of the bitches left". I challenged him to a bet for the best steak in Iowa that we had daughters in our herd because they would be 4 -8 years old in the prime of their lives. We had my partner, Lil, print out a sheet on Extra H6 and Black Ink's daughters in our inventory. I nearly dropped my teeth when I say that we only had 2 daughters of Black Ink and told Bill that I was not going to enjoy the CAP New York Strip much, but planned to collect. With a broad and cocky smile, "he said, those two daughters are in the open pen and are going to become hamburger. Black Inks daughter left because they were open. We breed around 300 heifers a year, and I note the sires daughters that are open the first year as virgins and their second calves. But after that they become part of our cow herd and we cull or keep them based on their calves.

By the way, in this time period that we were culling all these Black Ink daughters we only had two Extra H6 daughters that were open or culled for anything.

This is how I sort A.I. bulls regarding female sires. Sort Sire Summary for those sires whose daughters are in the top 10-15% for all the following traits. Heifer Pregnancy: Maternal Calving Ease; $Weaning. In other words, are they fertile, can they have a big calf easily, and how many pounds will she wean. Frankly, that's what beef cows are supposed to do. End of story!

Fair warning.. you'll be heading to your semen tanks and pitching a bunch of semen that were rumored to sire great females.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby hornedfrogbbq » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:24 pm

Air gator wrote:This is a post from Dave Nichols of Iowa that I found very interesting....it is old but hopefully still relevant.

From Dave Nichols in IA (posted on Advantage):

Data is automatically submitted when a sire's daughter reports her first calf. She is compared to the other sires daughters contemporary group and the Epd is reported as a deviation as are all Epds that are based on phenotypic data.

The first HP sire summery we had the highest EPD (Nichols Extra H6) we also had the worst bull (Nichols Black Ink). I was sure that Extra H6 was accurate, but I was sure that Black Ink's Epd was incorrect, because his beautiful females fit all the parameters of what are considered ideal Angus cows and all had visual indicaters of fecundity. I said to our foreman, Bill Antisel, that Black Ink surely was not that bad. He retorted, "are you kidding, we don't have any of the bitches left". I challenged him to a bet for the best steak in Iowa that we had daughters in our herd because they would be 4 -8 years old in the prime of their lives. We had my partner, Lil, print out a sheet on Extra H6 and Black Ink's daughters in our inventory. I nearly dropped my teeth when I say that we only had 2 daughters of Black Ink and told Bill that I was not going to enjoy the CAP New York Strip much, but planned to collect. With a broad and cocky smile, "he said, those two daughters are in the open pen and are going to become hamburger. Black Inks daughter left because they were open. We breed around 300 heifers a year, and I note the sires daughters that are open the first year as virgins and their second calves. But after that they become part of our cow herd and we cull or keep them based on their calves.

By the way, in this time period that we were culling all these Black Ink daughters we only had two Extra H6 daughters that were open or culled for anything.

This is how I sort A.I. bulls regarding female sires. Sort Sire Summary for those sires whose daughters are in the top 10-15% for all the following traits. Heifer Pregnancy: Maternal Calving Ease; $Weaning. In other words, are they fertile, can they have a big calf easily, and how many pounds will she wean. Frankly, that's what beef cows are supposed to do. End of story!

Fair warning.. you'll be heading to your semen tanks and pitching a bunch of semen that were rumored to sire great females.


You bring up a great point: Which currently available sire has the most pathfinder daughters? Top 5? I'm not sure how to even research that.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby NEFarmwife » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:17 pm

hornedfrogbbq wrote:You bring up a great point: Which currently available sire has the most pathfinder daughters? Top 5? I'm not sure how to even research that.


https://www.angus.org/Performance/Documents/2018Pathfinder.pdf

Bottom of report (page 60?) has a list of sires, their eligible daughters, and pathfinder daughters.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Ebenezer » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:54 pm

hornedfrogbbq wrote:
Air gator wrote:This is a post from Dave Nichols of Iowa that I found very interesting....it is old but hopefully still relevant.

From Dave Nichols in IA (posted on Advantage):

Data is automatically submitted when a sire's daughter reports her first calf. She is compared to the other sires daughters contemporary group and the Epd is reported as a deviation as are all Epds that are based on phenotypic data.

The first HP sire summery we had the highest EPD (Nichols Extra H6) we also had the worst bull (Nichols Black Ink). I was sure that Extra H6 was accurate, but I was sure that Black Ink's Epd was incorrect, because his beautiful females fit all the parameters of what are considered ideal Angus cows and all had visual indicaters of fecundity. I said to our foreman, Bill Antisel, that Black Ink surely was not that bad. He retorted, "are you kidding, we don't have any of the bitches left". I challenged him to a bet for the best steak in Iowa that we had daughters in our herd because they would be 4 -8 years old in the prime of their lives. We had my partner, Lil, print out a sheet on Extra H6 and Black Ink's daughters in our inventory. I nearly dropped my teeth when I say that we only had 2 daughters of Black Ink and told Bill that I was not going to enjoy the CAP New York Strip much, but planned to collect. With a broad and cocky smile, "he said, those two daughters are in the open pen and are going to become hamburger. Black Inks daughter left because they were open. We breed around 300 heifers a year, and I note the sires daughters that are open the first year as virgins and their second calves. But after that they become part of our cow herd and we cull or keep them based on their calves.

By the way, in this time period that we were culling all these Black Ink daughters we only had two Extra H6 daughters that were open or culled for anything.

This is how I sort A.I. bulls regarding female sires. Sort Sire Summary for those sires whose daughters are in the top 10-15% for all the following traits. Heifer Pregnancy: Maternal Calving Ease; $Weaning. In other words, are they fertile, can they have a big calf easily, and how many pounds will she wean. Frankly, that's what beef cows are supposed to do. End of story!

Fair warning.. you'll be heading to your semen tanks and pitching a bunch of semen that were rumored to sire great females.


You bring up a great point: Which currently available sire has the most pathfinder daughters? Top 5? I'm not sure how to even research that.
If you look at pathfinder status, be sure and do a calculation of the ones that made it versus the # of daughters that did not make it. Used to be that a lot of well known bulls could barely have 3% of daughters to get into the classification. that tells you a lot because the newest and the fad bulls are generally bred to the choice of cows. But then, again, pathfinder only gets you to 5 YO and 3 calves if I remember correctly. I'd rather see a status for longevity (beyond 5 YO) regardless of the % ratio weaning.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:36 pm

Top 5 pathfinder sires under 11 yrs of age

Consensus 7229 9y 7m 138 of 1383 eligible daughters hp 45% cem 85% $W top 3%

Hoover Dam 10y 7m 99 of 1314 eligible daughters hp 40% cem 55% $W 30%

Werner War Party 10y 11m 55 of 432 dau. hp 10% cem 35% $W top 2%

WMR Timeless 458 10y 7m 46 of 294 dau. hp top 5% cem 65% $W 10%

SAV Brilliance 10y 6m 36 of 436 dau. hp 95% cem 55% $W 10%

The Youngest rising stars? of pathfinder sires
Barstow Cash 7y 7m 14 of 79 dau hp 10% cem 15% $W 40%
SAV Angus Valley 7y 7m 7 of 57 dau hp 15% cem 65% $W 55%


seems Timeless and War Party have kind of flown under the radar as cow makers.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Air gator » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:59 pm

I know Brilliance is popular but I would have a tough time with a 4.9 HP epd.
War Party's milk epd is +40 so he would be expensive unless you had a cow that really needed a boost of milk.
Timeless 458's DMI epd is +1.62 so they might need a little feed.

Here's the benefit of a discussion like this: EPDs/numbers don't tell the whole story.
I am sure there are people on here who love cows out of these bulls with numbers that are crooked like the ones above.
I read a post from two breeders with Southside cows that said they were fat and easy-keeping but his $EN is -$33.00 and his DMI epd is +$1.54.
So, who/what do you believe?
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:32 pm

EPD search based on Dave Nichols criteria returns mostly younger sires.... a few that stood out to me...

LD Capitalist 316 $30 at ABS 5y 7m hp 20% cem top 1% $W top 2%
OCC Ultimate Answer $25 Origen 7y 6m hp 10% cem 15% $W 3%
RB Tour of Duty $30 Origen 7y 7m hp 25% cem 15% $W 10%
Sydgen Black Pearl $20 Origen 6y 7m hp 5% cem 4% $W 10% at $20 he looks like a "Best Value"
Carter Blackfoot $20 Select Sires 5y 0m hp 15% cem 15% $W 5%


edit to add:
Timeless 458 $EN -10.69 or 70%
milk 26 with 87% accuracy
hp top 5% with 67% accuracy
DMI is his lowest accuracy at 56% so I don't know how much weight I'd put on it based on his actual pathfinder results
but they are big cows, so I'd use him where added frame is needed or wanted.

There really isn't a "one bull fits all" sire alive.
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby hornedfrogbbq » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:51 pm

I agree totally. No one bull would be good for our whole herd...we have mommas that need a little more milk and growth or that are a touch small in frame size.

That being said, thanks to all that posted those suggestions. We have seen tens of thousands of bulls over the years by the same side and seen VERY different outcomes...probably due to the female.

But riddle me this: how can FLUSH mates using the same sire not only have different numbers (in fact, how is it possible given the inputs) and WILDLY different looks and outcomes.

Nature is a funny thing...
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Re: Heifer Pregnancy EPD - Do you believe it?

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:53 pm

jscunn wrote:I want to believe it and I want to use it. I just cant in unproven bulls.
Seen too many of them move too much before a bull has even had time to have daughters old enough to breed.

I put more faith in it in proven bulls, 5 yrs old and older with a decent amount of progeny.
We don't run cows too rough so anything over 50% would be ok for me.

Angus are known as one of the most fertile breeds, so using a 50% breed average bull doesn't overly concern me.
Young sires below breed average and proven sires in bottom 1/3 of breed are an automatic no go to me.
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