Negative $EN

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.
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Bestoutwest
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Negative $EN

Post by Bestoutwest » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:04 pm

Going through a lot of Angus pedigrees, I'm seeing a lot of really low $EN numbers. -58, -42, etc. Is this something folks are breeding for anymore? Is a product of breeding for something else? I have one cow that's a +12, but all my others are -__.


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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Stickney94 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:11 pm

I'm sure you will get some different opinions on this one. The angus defintion is:

"Cow Energy Value ($EN), expressed in dollar savings per cow per year, assesses differences in cow energy requirements as an expected dollar savings difference in daughters of sires. A larger value is more favorable when comparing two animals (more dollars saved on feed energy expenses). Components for computing the cow $EN savings difference include lactation energy requirements and energy costs associated with differences in mature cow size."

If I read that correctly $EN factors milk production and cow size. So, do you trust the milk production data?

I know a favorite bull of mine, Hoover Dam, at one time was -25, then was positive +7, iirc, and now looks to be -$5.

The AAA also created the $M index. Which I will let someone else explain.

I do still look at $EN. I'd prefer not to be -50. I'm not super concerned about -$30.

If your -$40 cow weans off a calf that is 100 lbs heavier than a $0 cow, does that pay for the difference?

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by 76 Bar » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:21 pm

If your -$40 cow weans off a calf that is 100 lbs heavier than a $0 cow, does that pay for the difference?
Everything is relative. There's no free lunch.

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Stocker Steve » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:02 pm

Bestoutwest wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:04 pm
Going through a lot of Angus pedigrees, I'm seeing a lot of really low $EN numbers. -58, -42, etc. Is this something folks are breeding for anymore? Is a product of breeding for something else?
Yes, some breed to excess.

By going for maximum growth, and a getting terminal Black Angus animal.

Could outcross to Holstein to increase the rate of "improvement". :banana:
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Re: Negative $EN

Post by VaCowman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:27 am

Breeding for extremes is a dangerous game, regardless of resources IMO. I do pay close attention to the $EN and try to stay above -15 and below +15. I still prefer a + value over a - one, but I think you can get some real dinks on most operations breeding for extremes. There is either too much gas, or not enough. An operation with higher supplementation rates can get by with lower $EN, but there is a cost associated with that added performance. As stated above, there is no such thing as a free lunch. I think Tim's fleck experiment turned out pretty well for him.

It seems like the $EN values are always changing, even on proven bulls, due to feed costs, etc., but I think if you stick with a fairly or highly proven bull, the $EN values would be a good indicator for what type of cattle they produce

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by VaCowman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:54 am

I just noticed that TEX PLAYBOOK had a $EN of -29 in the 2019 Select Sires Directory. Today, he's at +4. Pretty big swing, much like the Hoover Dam swing. I have not used him, but he's in play now, especially since he went from $40 retail to $25 retail.

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Lucky_P » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:20 am

10-12 yrs ago, when we were using some Angus sires, I tried to use ones with $EN above +10... was getting hard to find them that high back then, but used a couple that were +$40 or better... 4-4.5 frame bulls with low milk epds... but high marbling and one of them was in the top 1% for REA. But... using them over SimAngus cows, some with Holstein back a few generations, they did OK.
Looking now, they're still above +$10... but now more like +$16 to +$20... and still pretty desirable with respect to marbling and REA(at least one of them)... but WW & YW are in the bottom 5%.

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by VaCowman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:40 am

Sounds a lot like Gardens Wave. I've still got a few straws of him left over. Made good cows, moderate, enough milk, breedup always good, EXCELLENT feed conversion and made some dang good freezer beef for the direct marketing program! I never had any issues with docility suprisingly. I heard he could throw some rank ones, but they never showed at my place. He has a $EN of +16 now. In 2010, he was at +31.

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Bestoutwest » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:37 am

I just wonder if the Angus breed as it's focus is swinging to pounds on the hoof (ex SAV cattle), are they losing sight of profitability in the future? Meaning as we're breeding for bigger cattle that put on more pounds NOW, while feed is relatively cheap and easy to find, what will the impact be during a drought or if there is a sudden expansion of civilization into the farmland (which I'm seeing in SW ID)? I'm not kidding about it here in Idaho. You can drive around and see field after field of land going from farmland to housing literally from one growing season to the next. It's kind of scary.
For the great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent van Gogh
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.-Julius Caesar

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Stocker Steve » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:29 pm

Bestoutwest wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:37 am
I just wonder if the Angus breed as it's focus is swinging to pounds on the hoof (ex SAV cattle), are they losing sight of profitability in the future?
Certainly for producing profitable replacements. The "improved" BA may be limited to being the terminal sire on your not BA F1 cows.
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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Ebenezer » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:49 pm

RR Rito 707 was from 1967. You have to wonder why he got dropped by breeders in the late 70's thru about 10 years ago. You might know the answer if you knew that Dale Davis only tried to sell sons in one sale. History repeats itself especially if you are ignorant of the past failures and try to re-do what others tried and left behind or you know and want to fool other folks. SAV is a feeding program which is highlighting 707 AGAIN.

$EN is not the gospel but try to max out on the negative side and see how the % opens work for you in a few years. Or try extreme high + $EN and see your paycheck dwindle. The "ordinary cow" is despised by big sale folks because they want to have your money and they specialize in the extra-ordinary; bigger, better, more, special, rare, .... But the ordinary cow will pay her way if you have sense enough not to give your money away once you get it.

Motion, promotion and commotion. They all cost money. Even just making noise takes energy. Watch out for all 4 and spend time studying your environment and learning your farm or ranch's limits. Or else pay up.

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Lucky_P » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:41 pm

VaCowman - spot on... Gardens Wave made some pretty nice cows here, out of old linebred Fleckvieh-influenced SimAngus cows... moderate frame, held their condition well, and raised good calves - bred mostly to Shorthorn or Braunvieh bulls here. And, they were easy to look at; actually, pretty fancy to my eyes.
Only got 3 Wave daughters, and none were the least bit 'hot'. I was a little worried about that... his initial Doc epd was -23, and we'd already bred 10 cows to him.
Wish I'd bought more semen on him before ABS quit carrying him. Saw some sell for $250/unit not too long ago.
Never ate any of the Wave steers, but was toying with the idea of AIing the last remaining Wave daughter to an Akaushi sire to produce a personal freezer beef steer, but we dispersed the herd.

Used N Bar PrimeTime D806 around the same time... downsized 'em a bit more than Wave, and they were so ugly, you couldn't hardly stand to look at them until they were 5 or 6 years old... ever see a photo of his dam...they all had that head. But... they raised a decent calf every year, and disposition pretty much followed their dam's... not particularly 'hot', but they tended to be a little 'smarter' than the Waves... and would get a little antsy waiting their turn in the crowding alley. They got easier to look at as they matured, and most of them gave no reason to take a ride to town - they weren't fancy, just honest working girls.

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by GoWyo » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:40 pm

I had one straw of Wave left in 2017 and AI'd my old granny cow with it. She had bad luck with her bull calves losing 4 out of 4 over the years to calamities (a yearling and her calf drowned in the creek the same year, bull twin to a heifer was born second and dead and her first calf was 2 weeks early and a surprise on a windy below zero day out in the open) but her daughters have been excellent. Her last calf was a bull by Wave in 2018 and I used him to clean up heifers last spring. Will find out in a month or so how he did, but he is a good breeder. As a coming 2 he looks pretty rough wintering on grass and cake (built like a weiner dog), but I think he is going to look a lot like his sire as he matures.

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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Stocker Steve » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:30 pm

I like fat wiener dogs.
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Re: Negative $EN

Post by Bcompton53 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:47 am

I'm irritated at all of the extremes. In the sire directories it seems like there are 3 categories. 1: Ultra low BW/ bottom 95% for mature size. 2: top 1% mature size, top 1% yearling weight, and 3: moderate sizes, moderate growth, ultra low accuracies.....
We need a list of bulls that are down the middle. I understand that extremes are catchy, but what about bulls for the rest of us?

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