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Beef Carcase Traits Project – Update Dec 2017

Work to convert AHDB and HCC funded research for abattoir derived carcase information into EBVs for beef and dairy cattle took another step closer this month, with the receipt of a new set of breeding values as part of on-going research.

The striking part of this work is the sheer number of cattle that are now included in this multi-breed analysis, with over 65,000 sires with progeny included in the analysis. The numerically most dominant breeds are the Aberdeen Angus, Limousin and Charollais amongst the beef breeds and Holstein amongst the dairy breeds.

On average, each sire has around 16 progeny with carcase records (leading to high accuracy values for the EBVs produced) and even numerically smaller breeds like the Luing and Sussex are relatively well represented in the dataset.

What can you do to enhance the analysis?

  • The most important thing that producers can do is to ensure sire details are recorded accurately on cattle passports – so please ensure that not only you record your details correctly – but get your bull buying customers to do the same!
  • To enhance the analysis, individual breed societies can also provide additional pedigree information into the analysis – this is useful for older and imported genetics, which tend to be better recorded through a Breed Society database.

Where can we hear more?

Further results will be shared at the British Cattle Breeder’s Club, 22nd January  2018. For more information contact Samuel Boon at Signet – 02476 478826 [email protected]

  Number of bulls Av. Progeny Number Total Progeny
Aberdeen Angus 13,385 21 284,189
Limousin 13,150 14 189,738
Charolais 7,217 19 134,072
Holstein 6,803 12 83,304
Simmental 5,833 15 85,461
Hereford 5,151 15 76,754
British Blue 1,979 18 34,896
Blonde D’Aquitaine 1,602 16 25,747
Beef Shorthorn 1,554 11 17,155
South Devon 1,455 12 17,067
Stabiliser 883 19 16,384
Salers 791 15 11,939
Friesian 657 12 7,977
Welsh Black 626 11 6,578
Devon 467 9 4,089
Luing 430 10 4,144
Sussex 348 14 4,827
Grand Total (including smaller breeds) 65,007 16 1,024,395


Data sourced from an SRUC analysis completed for AHDB, December 2017.

About the author

Samuel Boon

Samuel Boon

I am the Manager of Signet Breeding Services, within the AHDB.

Enthusiast on all things genetics to do with sheep and cattle and currently also supporting Bridget Lloyd in running the @RamCompare progeny test with ~18,000 lambs/annum.

I am also involved with the:-

  • Relaunch of Terminal Sire Breeding Programmes (Sheep)
  • AHDB lead for the Welsh Sheep Breeding Project run by HCC - working with Innovis, HCC and Janet Roden
  • Database design and development for this website
  • National Sheep Breeds Survey
  • Development of Carcase Trait EBVs in Beef Cattle
  • Formerly involved with the delivery of the Welsh Sheep Strategy, Northern Upland Sheep Strategy, Suckler Cow Project, Highlands and Islands Sheep Strategy

I can be followed on Twitter @SamBoonBreeding