Abstract

Calf weight variability is a major concern to cattlemen within the U.S., particularly when considering birth weight. The concern is that two bulls, with similar Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) may both produce calves that average 35 KG at birth, but one bull's calves range from 32 to 38 KG while the other bull's calves range from 28 to 42 KG. A possible source of this variation may result when a bull's parents have very different genetic merit for that trait. The results of this study show that parental differences in genetic merit (EPDs) does not have an effect on the variation of a bull's offspring. There is very little correlation between parental EPD differences and the variation in weight of a bull's calves or with the Mendelian sampling of the bull or his calves. The implications of these results are that producers are not reducing variation by mating cattle with like EPDs. Therefore, bulls and cows with complimentary traits can be mated without affecting subsequent calf variation.
 

K. D Bullock, F. A Thrift, D. K Aaron, J. K Bertrand

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 17. Genetics and breeding of dairy and beef cattle, swine and horses, , 196–198, 1994
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