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EBVs & Performance Recording

Estimated breeding values

© Catherine MacGregor

The best approach to assessing a Beef Shorthorn Bull is to use Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), which predict an animal’s genetic potential and how his offspring will perform. 

Important EBVs to look out for

  • Birth weight
  • Calving interval
  • Calving ease – maternal/daughters
  • Calving ease – direct
  • Scrotal circumference
  • 200 day milk
  • 200 day growth

Self Replacing Index

At the Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society, we made a commitment to developing the breed as a damline by introducing the Self Replacing Index (SRI), an index which evaluates the maternal traits. Previously, the emphasis had been on terminal sire traits – growth rates and carcase characteristics. To make fast, reliable and more predictable genetic gain in maternal traits, commercial producers should consider widely used bulls, with the right balance of EBVs, with high Accuracy Values.

For more information, visit Breedplan, the Society’s performance recording register.

Performance recording with the Breedplan herd rating system

One of the key factors underpinning the accuracy of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) is the quality of performance information that has been recorded with Breedplan, and the ‘Completeness of Performance’ herd rating system summarises the quantity of pedigree and performance information that has been submitted to Breedplan by an individual herd.

While ultimately EBV accuracy values provide an indication of the reliability an animal’s EBVs, the ‘Completeness of Performance’ star rating provides both pedigree and commercial producers alike with an assessment of how much performance has been submitted to Breedplan by a herd and not just an individual animal.

The ‘Completeness of Performance’ reports provide a summary of the information that the herd has submitted to Breedplan. A range of statistics are provided within the reports including details of the pedigree, weight, carcase, birth and fertility information that has been recorded. These reports allow members to assess how ‘complete’ the information is for their animals and identify areas in which additional performance information could be recorded.

The star rating for a herd is calculated based on the proportion of calves within the herd born in a fixed 5-year period that have performance recorded for each trait. Different criteria are used within each individual breed depending on the traits for which EBVs are calculated within the breed. Each herd receives a star rating on a 0–5 scale (including half stars) that summarises the relative ‘completeness’ of their performance information.

The ‘Completeness of Performance’ star ratings are displayed on the member enquiry facility on the online database system; users have the ability to limit animal and EBV searches based on a herd’s rating.

Breedplan Gold Standard

Herds with a star rating ‘5’ are Gold Standard
They are considered to be recording ‘complete’ performance information with Breedplan for all animals across all traits for which EBVs are available.

Breedplan Silver Standard

Herds with a star rating ‘4’ or ‘4.5’ are Silver Standard
Recording comprehensive performance information with Breedplan for most animals and traits, but recording less performance than a 5 star herd.

Breedplan Bronze Standard

Herds with a star rating ‘3’ or ‘3.5’ are considered a Bronze Standard
Recording performance information with Breedplan for a reasonable number of traits or animals, but recording less performance information than a 4 or 5 star herd.

BBreedplan Blue

Breedplan Blue
Herds with a rating of ‘2.5’ or less are recording information with Breedplan but not for all animals or traits. They are recording less performance information than a 3, 4 or 5 star herd.

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