What is wrong with selecting for maximum EPDs?

adapted genetics Aug 17, 2021

The main problem when selecting for maximum EPDs is that it will shift the size of our cattle to larger animals, and this goes against low maintenance which is so important to achieve profitability on a ranch or farm.

We can recognize that there must be a limit to the size our cows can be imposed by the environment on which they need to grow and function.

When should we stop in our search for higher and higher weights at weaning, at a year of age, size of carcass?

We must remember that high weaning weight has a big component of high milk production which goes against low maintenance cows.

Could it be that the larger frame and late maturing cows ensuing from this are what we need when selecting for larger weaning weighs?

Could the environment play a role in determining which size of cow is more efficient to maximize pounds of weaned calves sold per year?

We need to ask ourselves: what is my goal

Is it converting your forage produced per year into more pounds of weaned calves in your ranch? Or do you prefer high individual weaning weighs with a much lower productivity and profits per ranch?

We need to know how to calculate this and use common sense in our selection guidelines and breeding decisions to more have more efficient cattle converting what we produce, forage/grass, into what we sell, pounds of calves.

Hint: metabolic size determines conversion efficiency of the total grass/forage produced in your ranch.

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