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National Beef Evaluation Carcase Trait EBVs now available through Signet

By Harriet Bunning, Lead Animal Genetics Expert

Since 2018, AHDB has published the National Beef Evaluations, providing breeding values (EBVs) for all breeds and crossbreeds of cattle to allow breeders to select animals for improved carcase and maternal traits. This information is available through the AHDB website.

However most pedigree breeders get their breeding information from the breed society database, including through Signet. Therefore, we are now working to provide this information directly alongside breed society evaluations. The aim is this will allow pedigree breeders to use all available data to select the best breeding animals for their herd.

For Sussex breeders, alongside your performance recorded traits, you will now have up to five new traits listed. These include four carcase traits which are evaluated using data from a national database of abattoir records. Selecting sires with low Days to Slaughter EBVs should reduce finishing costs, whilst selection for higher Carcase Weight and Conformation should increase the value of finished animals. We also include Carcase Fat Class which, alongside EBVs of scanning traits, allows breeders to select for their desired fat level at slaughter. Finally, we are also publishing Calf Survival to the Signet database. This trait measures the chance a calf will survive from tagging to 10 months of age and selection for high EBV animals should produce calves that are less likely to die in this period, improving the efficiency of your herd.

All animals have the potential for published EBVs but please note if you animal is missing these traits, it is likely we don’t have enough data to provide an accurate value. Do check back as we receive new data regularly and EBVs for these traits may be added in the next publication.

For other Signet recording breeds, the publication of these traits will be rolled out over the next few months. For other breeds, you can access these EBVs through the AHDB website: National beef evaluations | AHDB

Example chart with the new NBE traits highlighted.

For further information about AHDBs National Beef Evaluation please contact [email protected]

About the author

Laura Eyles

Laura Eyles

Laura has joined the Signet team as a breeding specialist, she comes from an agricultural background having grown up on a sheep farm in Cornwall, where they keep commercial ewes and run a small flock of pedigree Charollais sheep.

Laura has a strong interest in animal breeding and genetics having studied Animal Science (BSc Hons) at Harper Adams University. During her time at Harper, she spent an industrial placement in Cumbria working for a sheep breeding company and some of our clients may recognise her from this role. Since graduating she has worked for a large cattle breeding company before joining us at Signet to lead on a number of Signet’s sheep breeding projects.