The Profit Maker Bulls - Kiowa
Sire Discovery Program
The Profit Maker Bulls - Kiowa Creek Ranch Sire
Discovery Program has the following objectives:
The identification and control of genetics to be utilized by the Beef industry is at its infancy. One has only to review the history of genetic control in the Pork and Poultry industries to envision what is likely to occur in the Beef industry in the future. At minimum, "SPECIFICATION CATTLE", cattle which meet established parameters for both size and composition, WILL BE REQUIRED to be bred in order TO AVOID having to sell ones product at DISCOUNT. Initially, the "SPECIFICATION CATTLE" will COME FROM the use of "SPECIFICATION GENETICS". Later, the opportunities presented through future scientific breakthroughs, e.g., gene splicing, will undoubtedly be utilized. The commercial application of these technologies is somewhere in the future. The Profit Maker Bulls - Kiowa Creek Ranch Sire Discovery Program is a project for today.
A significant opportunity exists for innovative, future thinking enterprises that wish to participate in shaping the future of, and the use and control of, Beef genetics.
The Profit Maker Bulls - Kiowa Creek Ranch Sire Discovery Program represents an initial step towards that future.
Overview of the Program Concept:
The PURPOSE of the program is to IDENTIFY YOUNG SIRE CANDIDATES with siring ability EQUAL TO OR SURPASSING that of high accuracy BREED LEADING REFERENCE SIRES. Candidates will be put through both the "PMB Structured Sire Evaluation" and through a "Multi-trait Economic Comparison", comparing the results with those obtained from the reference sires. The GOAL is to EVALUATE promising young sires FASTER than has been previously possible. Attaining this goal will allow accelerated usage of the promising young sires, and may prevent their potential being lost because they were sold into a commercial operation where knowledge of their true potential is never fully recognized. SUCCESSFUL young SIRES will make a POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION to both the BEEF INDUSTRY, and to all CATTLEMEN who incorporate these genetics into their herds. In addition, there is significant income potential available through semen sales. EPD's will be generated through the submission of data to the Angus Herd Improvement Records System.
PMB Structured Sire Evaluation
Components of the Program
Sire Discovery Candidates
The first step is to IDENTIFY YOUNG SIRES that have the POTENTIAL to transmit the genetics the Beef industry will be demanding in the near future. Initially, the candidates can be nominated for a number of reasons, including:
These candidates will be put through both the "PMB Structured Sire Evaluation" and a "Multi-trait Economic Comparison" process. The precise methodology for the Multi-trait Economic Comparison is being derived utilizing Association and Academic sire evaluation personel, and other interested and knowledgeable people including cattle feeders, nutritionists, economists, etc.
The Test Herd
The TEST HERD is composed of REGISTERED ANGUS COWS. This is necessary because the DIFFERENCES in production and carcass characteristics of the INDIVIDUAL COWS which comprise the test herd have already been IDENTIFIED through each cow's EPD's. INCORPORATING this DATA into progeny calculations will PROVIDE the most ACCURATE ASSESSMENT of the DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SIRES that is possible. Use of a REGISTERED TEST HERD SUPPORTS the objective of REDUCED TIME, as it will be unnecessary to wait until slaughter to obtain carcass results. It also eliminates the risk of the cost of feeding cattle versus the value of fed cattle.
In order to obtain EPD's with enough accuracy to be credible, we believe a MINIMUM OF 50 PROGENY for each young sire, and for each reference sire, should be used.
REFERENCE SIRES to be chosen should be HIGH ACCURACY sires whose progeny will make a positive economic contribution through the sale of his sons, and through the retention of his daughters. These are the sires that are TRAIT LEADERS at the present time which we are trying to equal or surpass. In order to ensure linkage from one year to another, either a reference sire will be used again in the following year, or one of the young sires, graduated from the program, will become a reference sire the next year.
Methodology of the Program
Test Herd Management - Weaning Weight Differences
Sire Discovery Candidates and Reference Sires will be RANDOMLY MATED to the "Test Herd" cows. This will be done both artificially and through natural service. The resulting CALVES will be IDENTIFIED at birth. It is essential for the test herd MANAGEMENT, pasture, mineral and supplementary feed, to be IDENTICAL for all sire groups.
Each calf will be INDIVIDUALLY WEIGHED at weaning time. Adjusted weaning weights will be derived for each calf and each sire group. The COMPARISON of the DATA between individuals and sire groups will be used to DERIVE both INDIVIDUAL WEANING WEIGHT EPD's and SIRE WEANING WEIGHT EPD's. By using Registered Cows, the probable weaning weight differences for each cow will be factored into the results. DIFFERENCES in average weaning weights for each sire group will be DETERMINED in both POUNDS and DOLLARS. This will contribute one element of the overall comparison between Sire Discovery Candidates and the Reference Sires.
Post-weaning Management - Post-weaning Growth and Cost of Gain
To maintain contemporary group integrity, all calves, both bulls and heifers, will be fed at the Profit Maker Bulls Test Center. Bull progeny from each sire will be penned and fed together in separate sire pens. This will allow feed consumption to be derived by sire group. Differences will be determined for ADG, feed per pound of gain, cost per pound of gain, and any other comparative data that is relevant. Profit Maker Bulls is positioned to gather the data required by taking periodic individual weights, adjusting contemporary groups as required by removing sick or injured cattle not representative of normal, and submitting the data to the American Angus Association. Post-weaning weight differences, as well as differences in cost of gain, will be derived. The weights will be utilized to generate Yearling Weight EPD's for the Sire Discovery Candidates. Both bulls and heifers will be ultrasounded to derive carcass EPD's for the Sire Discovery Candidates and the Test Herd Cows. Economic Values will be derived for differences in cost of gain and for differences in carcass value.
Utilizing the mathematical formulae derived at Cornell University, differences in feed consumption for individual progeny within each sire group can be derived. While not as precise as feeding the bulls individually, the method is capable of identifying the outliers, the ones that may be the next potential young sire to be evaluated.
Discovering the Young Sires with the Highest Overall Potential Genetic Merit
The Sire Discovery Candidates will be ranked with the Reference Sires for each economic trait, and in the aggregate total for all economic traits. The top ranking sires will be the ones with the most potential.
All rankings will be made on the basis of $$$ differences. This is a unit of comparison we can all readily understand.
Making Genetics Available to Profit Maker Bulls Customers
Bull progeny from the most successful Sire Discovery Candidates will be marketed to PMB bull customers.
Status of the Project
The first calves hit the ground during the fall of 2001. The reference sires used for this group were GAR Precision 1680 and TC Stockman 365.