Information and Data - Explained
Actual and Adjusted Weights: Actual
birth weights, along with adjusted 205-day and 365-day weights,
are provided for most yearling bulls, while the forage bulls have
been adjusted to 470 days. This is good information, but it doesn’t
tell the whole story because the surrounding environment can greatly
affect these weights. Therefore, you can’t use this information
to make comparisons with other herds, but you can use it to make
valid comparisons within a herd. Ratios make this very easy.
Ratios: Ratios are provided
for birth weights, 205-day weights, 365-day weights, 470-day weights,
and for rate of gain. A ratio shows how a bull compares to his
within-herd contemporaries. A ratio of 100% is average, while a
ratio of 105% is 5% above herd average, and a ratio of 95% is 5%
below herd average. Birth weight ratios have been inverted. The
lowest birth weights will have the highest ratios.
EPDs: EPD is short
for Expected Progeny Differences. It’s a prediction of the
difference between the average progeny of one individual bull and
the average progeny of other individual bulls. Since EPDs are able
to take into account the differences that exist between environments,
they can be effectively used to compare animals from different
herds. Each breed association uses a different method for calculating
their EPDs, so you cannot compare EPDs of bulls from two different
breeds. Within a breed, though, EPDs can provide some very valuable
information. For example, a bull with a birth weight EPD of –2.0
should sire calves that are 5 pounds lighter than a bull with a
+3.0 birth weight EPD.
on Test: Our yearling bulls were put on a short
feed test to help us compare their growth potential. They were
fed a grain-free, high-roughage ration designed for moderate gains
of only 2 pounds per day. If young bulls are pushed any harder,
it negatively affects their soundness, fertility and longevity.
Our bulls won’t be as big or as fat as bulls coming out of
other programs, but they will be healthy and well conditioned.
It is not at all unusual for our bulls to gain weight during their
first breeding season.
Our forage-tested bulls were tested for
their ability to gain weight on grass. Bulls that perform well
in a forage test should sire cattle that are also efficient foragers.
Instead of posting individual rates of gain, we are posting individual
gain indexes. This figure accurately compares each bull to his
Circumference: Actual measurements have been posted
in this catalog for our forage-tested bulls. We will provide 365-day
adjusted measurements for our yearling bulls on a supplement sheet
on sale day. Keep in mind, there is absolutely no fat in the scrotum
of these bulls. There is nothing there but testicles! Testicle
size seems to be a good indicator of early maturity.
Score: A frame score of 2 to 5 seems to be optimum
for the cow herd, as well as the feedlot and packing plant. The
smaller the frame, the more efficient the cow. The only difference
between a frame 4 and a frame 5 is a couple of inches between the
ground and the belly — which doesn’t weigh anything
and is impossible to eat! Our most efficient cows have a frame
score of 2 to 4 — with enough thickness to weigh 1000 to
| Frame score is hip height
adjusted for age. Unfortunately, the formula used for young bulls
feedlot-developed bulls. It will not work on our forage or grain-free-developed
bulls. Therefore, we use XS, S, S/M, M, M/L and L (roughly equivalent
to frames 2.5 to 5.5).
We have provided some predictions
on how we feel each of these bulls should be rated for Calving
, Fleshing Ability
and Hair Coat
(forage bulls only). Each bull is rated with 1 to 5 stars, with
5 being the best and 3 being about average. Remember, 3 stars is
bad. Fleshing Ability, Disposition and Hair Coat are discussed
on page 13
Information: Valuable information has also been
provided on the mother of most bulls. Cow Age is the dam’s
age at calving. Cow Weight is her actual weight at weaning, adjusted
to a standard body condition score of 5. At calving we give each
cow an Udder Score from 1 to 5. A score of 3 would be an average,
yet very functional udder, while a score of 5 would be nearly perfect.
On the registered bulls, we are also able to calculate a Cow
Longevity score from 1 to 5 — with 5 being the best. It’s rare
to have a bull with a young dam have 5 stars for cow longevity,
but it is possible.