KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In its quest to provide commercial and purebred producers with the latest in performance technology, the American Hereford Association has compiled and released two new calving ease Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs).
The intent of these EPDs is to better describe for commercial producers what they might expect from their purebred Hereford bull purchases.
Introduction. The new EPD trait categories were introduced in August and, thus far, have met tremendous favorable response from the industry.
The traits, Calving Ease Direct (CEd) and Calving Ease Maternal (CEm), take into consideration both birth-weight and calving-ease scores to predict a bull’s ability to sire easy calving offspring and/or the ability for a sire’s daughters to calve easily.
CEd deals with the sire himself, and describes in percentage points how much easier (+) or more difficult (-) one can expect births by a sire to be on the average.
Example. For instance, a CEd of +8 would indicate that one should expect the calves by that sire to calve easier than the breed’s average sire 8 percent of the time, when viewed over a population of cattle.
Likewise, CEm expresses differences in the calving ease of a sire’s daughters over a population.
A CEm of -3 would indicate that one should expect the daughters of a particular sire to have 3 percent greater than breed average difficulty at their first calving time.
Backing it up. The ability of AHA to make CEd and CEm predictions is backed up by data compiled on more than two million head of Herefords.
This is augmented by the fact AHA is one of only a handful of beef breed organizations requiring performance breeders to report on their entire calf crop, rather than on a few selected calves.
In doing so, AHA ensures the commercial industry one of the most reliable and accurate, state-of-the-art performance databases in today’s beef industry.
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