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Breeding and Genetics
 
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Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC)
The Beef Reproduction Task Force is a multi-state extension activity in cooperation with the North Central Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leaders Committee and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. Objectives of Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle are to improve the understanding of the physiological processes of the estrous cycle, the procedures available to synchronize estrus and ovulation and the proper application of these systems and to improve the understanding of methods to assess male fertility and how it affects the success of AI programs.
Breeding Soundness Evaluation
The purpose of this program, from Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center, is to revisit the Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BBSE) as developed by the American Society for Theriogenology (SFT). The current version of the BBSE utilizes mimimum acceptable standards (or thresholds) for scrotal circumference, sperm motility and sperm morphology, which a bull must equal or exceed to be classified as a satisfactory potential breeder.
Dehorning Beef Cattle Via Genetics Is Welfare Friendly
An article examining the recommendations concerning dehorning and genetics from the Expert Committee on Farm Animal Welfare.
Determining Reproductive Fertility in Herd Bulls
The herd bull influences overall herd fertility more than any other single animal. Several factors influence a bull's fertility. This guide from University of Missouri Extension examines those factors. Also available as a PDF.
Estrous Cycle Learning Module
A brief overview of the beef cow estrous cycle.
Gestation Calculator
The calculator on this page will calculate the date when a calf is due is from a given date of service based upon 283 days of pregnancy. Or it will calculate the date of service if you enter the date you want the calf to be due. You need to enter the month and day and indicate whether it is the service date or the due date.
Gestation Table
A table that gives you the date when a calf is due from a given date of service based upon 283 days of pregnancy. Select the month of service from the months listed at the top of the page.
Management Software Tools
These software tools, from The Beef Cattle Institute, are in a variety of formats and include calculators for cow/calf producers, feed lots, marketing, and nutrition.
QTL Study of Cattle Behavioral Traits in Embryo Transfer Families
This article from The Journal of Heredity discusses the inheritance in beef cattle of two behavioral traits, temperament and habituation. The researchers utilized quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping in their study and this is also discussed.
Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology of the Bull
This guide from University of Missouri Extension is an overview of the reproductive anatomy and physiology of the bull.
Synchronizing Estrus In Beef Cattle
Synchronization of estrus (heat) involves manipulating the estrous cycle of beef females so they can be bred at approximately the same time. There are several protocols available for synchronizing estrus among beef females. Traditional protocols are designed to mimic or control the corpus luteum on the ovary. New protocols have been designed to control ovulation and/or the follicular waves that occur on the ovary during the 21-day estrous cycle.

Associations and Organizations

Beef Improvement Federation (BIF)
The federation represents over 40 state and national beef cattle associations. It was formed as a means to standardize programs and methodology and to create greater awareness, acceptance and useage of beef cattle performance concepts. Selection based on objective measures has withstood the test of time and continues to undergo scrutiny by researchers, organizations and the ultimate judge, beef cattle producers. The site includes links to breed associations, pages with information regarding the upcoming convention and access to the proceedings of the organization's meetings from 1969 to date. The older proceedings are downloaded as a single file while the most current proceedings are available as separate downloads for individual papers.

 

Full-Text

Estrus Synchronization - Planning for Success
A slide presentation reviewing what factors affect the success of estrus synchronization and how to both evaluate and plan for the factors and the protocols that will ensure the best choice has been made for your specific situation. 4.39 MB
Evaluating the Breeding Soundness of Beef Bulls
Evaluating breeding soundness of bulls is an often neglected management practice. This guide, from New Mexico State University, discusses how and when to evaluate breeding soundness. 31.4 KB
Expected Progeny Difference (EPD)Part ll, Growth Trait EPDs
This fact sheet from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension provides an explanation of Growth Trait Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). 73.0 KB
Expected Progeny Difference: Part III, Maternal Trait EPDs
This fact sheet from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension provides an explanation of Maternal Trait Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). 66.78 KB
Expected Progeny Difference: Part IV, Use of EPDs
This fact sheet from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension provides an explanation ofhow to use Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). 73.65 KB
Impacts of Crossbreeding on Profitability in Vertically Coordinated Beef Industry Marketing Systems, Preliminary Report - Year 1
Vertically coordinated beef marketing systems (alliances and partnerships) have become breed specific, generally Angus, in an effort to improve quality grade and tenderness and to focus on the consumer. However, by so doing, the value of crossbreeding (heterosis) has been diminished, particularly at the cow-calf level. The primary objective of this project is to measure the effect of controlled crossbreeding in range environments on predominantly Angus-based females. By determining the value of heterosis to beef cattle alliances, cattle breeding systems in the U.S. have the potential to be significantly modified to utilize systematic, controlled crossbreeding programs. Preliminary data suggest a significant economic advantage in the feedlot phase for the crossbred (Hereford-sired) calves. Primary differences were gain, feed efficiency, morbidity and mortality, resulting in a dramatically lower cost of gain ($11.94 per hundredweight [cwt.], $7.32 per cwt. difference when mortality of the Angus-sired steers was excluded). The Angussired group had a significant advantage in quality grade, partially offsetting the value in the feedlot. However, the net advantage favored the Hereford-sired cattle by nearly $78 per head for the entire production cycle. All results are based on limited numbers from year one. Results may vary as more data is collected. It's important that no significant conclusion be drawn until the study is completed. 350.88 KB
Synchronizing Estrus In Beef Cattle
Synchronization of estrus (heat) involves manipulating the estrous cycle of beef females so they can be bred at approximately the same time. This training module briefly describes both traditional and new protocols designed to control ovulation.
Use of Natural Service Sires with Synchronized Estrus
This brief paper presents the advantages and disadvantages of the synchronization of estrus for an AI program when the AI program is not feasible but the advantages are still desirable. It includes guidelines for using bulls with synchronization. 10.61 KB
User’s Guide for Beef Cattle Expected Progeny Differences
Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are the most current and accurate means to select cattle for the traits for which they are calculated. EPDs are estimates of how a bull or cow’s future progeny will perform, on average, for a given trait. This paper discusses how EPD's are calculated, the traits that are calculated, accuracy values and their meaning and so on. It also explains an adjustment procedure to convert EPDs from one breed(s) to a comparable scale for another breed and includes a sample chart.

 

Video and Audio

Beef Cattle Reproductive Cycle, Estrous Synchronization Protocols
Learn more about the understanding and application of estrous synchronization protocols for beef cows and heifers. This is an audio recording.
 
 
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