EPDs Can be Useful in Hitting Production Targets
by: Dr. Joe Paschal
Texas Cooperative Extension, Livestock Specialist
Ever walked into a pen of purebred bulls or replacement heifers that look pretty much the same in terms of quality and wonder how in the world you are going to accurately pick the best genetics?
You might have a copy of their weights, adjusted weights, ratios and maybe some other records that tell you exactly what the animals weighed on a certain day, what they would have weighed if they were adjusted to a common age, sex of calf, age of dam or which were the highest in their trait.
Now suppose you go to a second breeder and a third and they all have the same records and pretty much the same high quality cattle. How do you decide what head to buy?
In the early 1970s a group of progressive cattle breeders and their breed associations pushed for the development of a new method of evaluating the performance of their purebred cattle. They wanted this method to take into account differences due to ranches and environments to improve and increase the ease of genetic selection.