The Clough family farm a herd of 80 pedigree Lincoln Red cattle, which have been Signet recorded since the mid-1990s. They feel that recording gives them a good basis for determining which family lines are performing best and they use this data, combined with physical assessment of the animals, to decide which cattle to retain for breeding purposes.
Mr Clough sums it up by saying “Sires and breeding females should be chosen for high EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values) and not just a pretty face,”.
Breed summary reports, listing promising young bulls, are essential reading in the Clough household and are used to assist in selecting future stock bulls for the herd. These reports are used to check how many of the cattle bred are above average and to ensure that any bulls bought have the genetic capability to produce high-quality progeny.
“We have been really pleased with how the quality of our herd has improved over the last twenty years.” says Mr Clough. “I think it is fair to attribute part of that to the help that Signet statistics has given us.”
Accessing the Signet website to look up cattle EBVs is becoming a common practice among the Lincoln Red breeding community. This became apparent to Mr Clough when the farm hosted an open day and the visitors arrived clutching lists of the herd’s best new-season calves.
This graph shows how Beef Value EBVs have improved in the Beverley Herd between 1996 and 2015.
For more information about the Beverley herd please visit www.lincolnred.co.uk