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New Beef Manual: Choosing bulls for Better Returns

A new guide to Beef breeding has been compiled by Alex Brown (Beef Breeding Projects Manager) and Amy Hughes (Knowledge Exchange Manager) covering a wide range of subjects. This guide is a useful tool for anyone that is involved in beef breeding.

The guide highlights the importance of breeding in any beef production system and how to select superior animals for breeding. Selecting superior parents leads to cumulative and permanent gains in herd productivity, profitability and efficiency. Which is why getting the genetics of you herd right is the first place to start when looking to improve herd performance.

The guide not only provides an explanation of EBVs, selection indexes, a guide to their use and interpretation, but includes a tool for breeders to use their own farm records and objectives to design a breeding objectives for your herd. This tool also identifies which EBVs to prioritise and use when selecting breeding animals.

The new Beef Carcass Traits EBVs are derived from carcass BCMS and passport data of animals. This information is used to calculate EBVs on days to slaughter, conformation and fat class. The EBVs are compared in two classes’ continental type and native, so like breeds can be compared.

This is not just a guide to EBVs and indexes, there wide range of other factors any beef breeder must consider when choosing a bull. These other aspects of bull selection and animal management   covered are:

  • Fitness and physical soundness
  • BCS and nutrition
  • Fertility and semen quality
  • Disease and parasite control
  • Choosing which breeder to buy from

To read the full guide please follow the link here.

About the author

Ed Brant

Ed Brant

Ed joined the Signet team in September 2019, once he had got Kelso ram sales out of the way! 

He has a degree in Agriculture from Newcastle University and a massive interest in genetics and performance recording.

The family farm in Lincolnshire has pedigree Hampshire Down and Lleyn flocks, as well as commercial sheep and cattle.