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The Importance of Mature Cow Weight in Suckler Beef Production

Within the UK beef industry a tendency exists among breeders to select for larger-framed animals. A major driving force behind this policy is the positive relationship (typically a correlation of 0.76-0.80) between mature size and the growth rates of offspring. Read more

 

Milk EBVs in Beef Cattle…Do they work?

In commercial suckler beef systems, the cow’s key output is the weaned calf. The weight of the calf (and therefore its value) at weaning is affected by several factors such as the calf’s genetics for growth, the management of the cow and calf and the mother’s genetics for milk production. Read More

 

Trial of the Scandinavian AI Method Under British Sheep Farming Conditions

Short question and answer article explaining new research into the Scandinavian sheep AI method, and what it could mean for sheep producers. Read More

 

Shearling Ewe Weights – Not a Topic to be Taken Lightly.

As we continue to breed for improved lamb growth rates in performance recorded flocks, the mature size of the resulting animals will also tend to increase. Although increases in growth rates are a positive result of progressive breeding, large increases in ewe mature size can be detrimental. Read More

 

What do Breeders Think is the Most Important EBV?

Selection for muscle depth heads the list of those traits most valued by recording breeders when buying a ram, according to an AHDB Beef and Lamb funded survey. Whilst beef producers, using both Signet and Breedplan tend to rank calving ease as the most important trait in their breeding programme. Read More

 

The Importance of…CT Scanning

Computed Tomography (CT) scanning is the ‘gold standard’ of carcase composition analysis in live animals. Read More

 

AHDB Beef and Lamb Farm Innovation Grant Funds Trial of Novel Sheep Worm Resistance Detection Method

The impact of roundworms on sheep production in the UK is an industry-wide concern, with the traditional use of drenches to combat the issue under threat from the increasing prevalence of anthelmintic resistance. Read More

 

Feeding Ewes Around Lambing : A Note From Dr.Liz Genever (AHDB Beef and Lamb Senior Sheep Scientist) and Kate Phillips (Independent Consultant)

AHDB Beef and Lamb are funding some work on mastitis in ewes at Warwick University, part of which has involved looking at the impact of nutrition on the occurrence of mastitis.  Some of the flocks that were studied were pedigree breeders and it was clear that in some of the flocks nutrition around lambing and into lactation could be better. Read more

 

The Importance of Ultrasound Scanning Cattle

by Sion Parry

Ultrasound scanning enables breeders to assess carcase traits in live animals by measuring the depth of muscle and fat cover across the loin. Some of the most valuable cuts on a beef carcase are located at the loin, therefore genetic selection for meat yield in this area should be prioritised by both producers and procurers of breeding stock. Read More

 

Recording Birth Weight and Ease of Birth to Enhance Calf and Lamb Survival

by Sion Parry

Performance recording is an effective method of identifying sheep and cattle with the best genetics for economically important traits.Selective breeding has allowed considerable genetic gain in the breeds which have embraced this technology – with improvements in growth rate being a key area of focus. Growth rates are easily measured and highly heritable, meaning that they offer themselves to substantial genetic progress in both cattle and sheep. Read More

 

Conference Shows That Co-operation Can Enhance Genetic Gain

by Sion Parry

The 2015 British Cattle Breeders Conference provided plenty of food for thought. The focus of the event was “co-operation” and although a broad range of topics were discussed, breeding and genetic improvement was firmly in the spotlight. Read more

 

EBV for Lambs Reared Helps Predict Ewe Financial Return: Farmers Weekly Article – Wednesday 21st January 2015