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Performance Article Series: Part 4 Ultrasound Carcass Data

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

The end goal of the cattle industry is to produce beef to feed a growing population.  At harvest there are many measurements that are taken to determine the value of a carcass.  Some of these traits are; rib eye area, marbling and fat thickness.  These traits are all higher in their heritability (0.4-0.6) than many of the other weight and production traits that are measured (0.1-0.4).  This means that you can make fairly rapid genetic progress for carcass traits.  However, it is hard to measure carcass traits without harvesting an animal, so we use ultrasound to estimate REA, intramuscular fat (IMF), as well as rib and rump fat.  The ultrasound will have to be done by a certified ultrasound technician and should be done between 320 and 550 days of age for the data to be included in the genetic evaluation.

Rib eye area is a measurement of the longissimus muscle and is taken between the 12th and 13th rib.  REA is an indicator of overall muscling in an animal and is used in the calculation of yield grade.  Animals that have a larger REA will adjust the yield grade of a carcass down, which is good because yield grade 4 and 5 animals receive a discount.  When an animal is harvested a good way to receive a small premium is to have animals that are yield grade 1 and 2.  Rib eye areas have been averaging around 13 square inches over the last few years and this is a very acceptable size for REA.  Using ultrasound to measure REA is a good selection tool and the data reported back to the association is important in the calculation of the REA EPD.

Another trait that relates to yield grade is the animal’s fat cover.  When using ultrasound two different measurements of fat cover are taken, one is over the ribs and the other is on the rump.  When an animal is harvested the fat over the ribs is used to determine the base yield grade.  An animal with between .4 and .6 inches of fat cover will start off as a base yield grade 3.  Thinner animals will have lower numerical yield grades than fatter animals.  Again, this is data that is important to gather and turn in, in order to calculate the Fat EPD.

The final trait that can be measured using ultrasound for carcass is the intramuscular fat or IMF.  IMF is directly related to marbling, and marbling along with the age of an animal are used to calculate a quality grade.  In the U.S. quality grade system, Prime is the highest quality, followed by Choice, then Select and finally Standard.  The higher the percent IMF the higher the quality grade is expected to be.  Quality grade dictates the price of the final product and many times is evaluated by looking at the Choice-Select Spread.  IMF is another great selection tool and should be measured in order to help make mating decisions and to calculate the IMF EPD.

All of these carcass traits are important to measure using ultrasound, to help the producer make better mating decisions.  While the Beefmaster is a maternal breed it is important to keep acceptable carcass values for the commercial producer using our bulls.  Recording all of these measurements also helps in the calculations for carcass EPDs and all of the carcass traits are weighted into the $T index.  The $T index was developed looking at weight as well as quality and yield grades.  This series will continue with an explanation of contemporary groups and how they are used.

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Color Uniformity Task Force

 

Beefmaster Members: The task force has been contacted and set for the discussion on the color uniformity guidelines and they will begin meeting as soon as possible. After the task force has had a chance to meet and discuss the guidelines they will start setting up meetings across the entire Beefmaster footprint in the US to get input from membership before any recommendations are submitted to the BBU Board of Directors.

The task force members are as follows:

  • Gregg Booth
  • Mackie Bounds
  • Lee Compton
  • Kelly Cupp
  • Derek Frenzel
  • Darrell Glaser
  • Rueben Gutierrez
  • Jason Hendricks
  • Bill Howell
  • Clark Jones
  • Aaron Lowe
  • Mike Moss
  • Nolan Ryan
  • Trey Scherer
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BBU Board of Director’s Statement Concerning Color Policy

 

In response to the concerns voiced by a portion of the membership about the adoption of the proposed color policy by the BBU board of directors, the board has met and voted unanimously to incorporate into the education and grace period a broad review and reconsideration of the BBU color policy as proposed by the Long Range Planning committee and as edited and approved by the board. In addition, the board has unanimously passed a motion directing the President to appoint a task force of BBU members equitably representing all views and aided by outside industry resources, that is charged with the task of proposing potential options, edits, or revisions to the color policy that was passed by the board. The board regrets that incorrect versions of the policy were leaked prior to the official announcement and presentation of the policy to the membership in its approved and final form. The board also wishes to make known to all members that no ill will, harm, or emotional distress was intended by its actions and that the best long-term interests of the breed as a whole has been and will continue to be always at heart. The board encourages everyone to remain positive, constructive, and united as we move through this process and time of change and challenges. If we as members and true believers in this great breed of cattle resolve to work together for the best interests of Beefmasters as a whole, there is no doubt that we will flourish as a breed in all sectors of the cattle industry as we move forward.

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Shot At and Missed

 

by Dave Loftin

Dad’s call for help came right at calving time. The old brindle was in obvious distress. Of course we couldn’t get close enough to help much so we called for the vet and started moving her toward the barn and working pens. This turned into quite a merry go round with the vet impatiently waiting while we would herd her up to the gate only to have her turn back and run for a few acres. The vet finally said to call him if we ever caught her and he would come back. All this time, she was nervously splattering fresh green stuff everywhere.

We finally set up a wing of panels curving around the barn and my brother brought his horse and ran her into the wing where she rounded a corner and was caught before she had a chance to see it coming. Then it was just a couple of gates to get her into the sweep tub and into the chute alley. There she stopped. NOW, she didn’t seem to mind being touched. No amount of begging, pleading, or shoving was going to make her walk into that chute. You can imagine what her rear end looked like. Freshly digested spring grass everywhere. This was when dad decided that she was not going to move so we might as well find out what the problem with the calf was right there. With a gloved hand, he pulled her tail out the side of the bars, looked at me, and said “Go ahead.” The passing of the torch had been made. Now it was me at the business end with little choice but to strip to my tee shirt and forge ahead. After all, he was 75 and was standing there holding her tail that had been lashing wildly, flinging green glop everywhere.

With a roll of paper towels from the pickup, I wiped until I could at least see where I was going and reached in to find one hoof and a nose. The nose became a muzzle and suddenly it licked my hand! I was elated. Good sign, the calf was alive! A little more exploration and I was past both ears before I found the other leg. It was somehow turned back and crossed over behind the head. Even though this was uncharted territory for me, I knew that leg had to be shifted around and lined up with the other one. The vet had been called but said he was tied up for a while so we should try to work it out ourselves.

My manipulations were not helping the cow calm down. She managed to shift a little and twitch her tail at the same time. The slick tail flew out of Dad’s gloved hand that was also very slick by now. With a wet sounding WHOP it slapped me in the side of the head and left a trail across my hair. This wasn’t a hair tonic commercial where a little dab will do ya. I got the whole thing. Dad somehow managed to catch the tail on the back swing to prevent me getting another dose even though I knew he would rather be doubled over laughing.

I had to back away for a minute and wipe a few drips off my eyebrows. Then it was time to dive back in. I had the slippery leg almost worked from behind the head and was past elbow deep when I felt the cow shudder and slightly arch her back. Then a loud cough came out her throat as something quite different came out the back. I was stuck. Up close and personal. Face to face with a gas powered bazooka as the green slimy projectile found me at point blank range. The pressurized liquid forced up my tee shirt sleeve, hit the armpit and diverted downward. What didn’t go up the sleeve came past my shoulder and found my chin, then split in two and wrapped around my head. Some went up my nose. I was just happy I had been straining with the leg and had my teeth clenched and my mouth tightly closed. There was no time to react or duck. I had been holding my breath but when I exhaled, green bubbles came out of my nose.

I was standing there, shell shocked and dripping, Dad still gallantly hanging onto her tail when the vet rolled up. Never have I been so happy to step aside and turn something over to another person. Within minutes he had the heifer calf out with mama licking and encouraging it to get up.

It took a lot of scrubbing and shampoo to clean off the visible stuff. The white tee shirt had green grass stains that never came out. It seemed like I could smell it for a week no matter how much I blew my nose and my wife’s supply of Q tips was greatly depleted as I kept swabbing green stuff out of my ears.

Since then, I have learned a few things. I took an A. I. class and got certified. I got special coveralls with the sleeves cut out and lots of pockets for paper towels. I tagged along with a couple of vets to learn how to do special manipulations if a calf is crooked in the birth canal. I think I am a lot more prepared for such situations now. However, I still duck every time I hear a cow cough.

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BBU Board of Directors Address Color Policy

 

Dear Beefmaster Breeders United members, Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association members, and other concerned individuals:

It is well understood that any viable pure breed of cattle in America today cannot exist without the demand for their genetics in the beef industry and by the commercial cattleman. Over the past ten years the Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) Board of Directors, staff, and BBU leadership have been very involved with the beef cattle industry and have represented the Beefmaster breed domestically and around the globe in a professional and honorable manner. This has included representation at many state cattlemen association meetings and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, as well as visits and conferences with major commercial feed yard operators, packers, sale barn owners and various academic organizations, institutes, and agricultural universities from around the country. Through the countless hours spent in these endeavors, the BBU team has promoted the breed to the fullest extent possible given the resources available. During this time, they also came to the realization that improvements to our breed must continue to be made in order to meet the ever-changing demands of an evolving industry.

These areas of improvement consistently focused on two major issues, carcass merit (Yield and Quality Grades) and the color of Beefmaster cattle.

As many of you will recall, past Executive Vice Presidents Tommy Perkins and Bill Pendergrass, as well as current Executive Vice President Collin Osbourn have had a consistent message to the membership that we need more data (birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, etc.), additional cattle scanned, increased use of DNA and to take action to improve the color of our cattle to meet industry demands. Beyond our BBU staff, industry leaders and commercial customers have told us to do something about the paint coloring. In one of our many educational sessions at a recent BBU convention, past president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and commercial cattleman told us to “get rid of the clowns”, referencing the paint colored cattle. This was not meant to be insulting, but to emphasize the importance of the issue.

Additionally, when Mackie Bounds was the BBU President, the BBU convention hosted an educational session and round table discussion called, “love connection”, two years in a row. Cattle experts from around the country were brought in to take part in the discussion, who were not all favorable of Beefmaster cattle. The intent was to have an open and honest discussion concerning what we as Beefmaster breeders needed to do in order to improve our status in the cattle industry. Again, we heard that we needed to increase ribeye size, improve marbling, add accuracy to our EPDs, and as before, do something about the loud paints. These remarks were not made to an individual about preferences, but was representative of the beef cattle industry from around the country.

As the BBU Board of Directors, we believe that the association and its members have a done a great deal to improve our issues with the exception of carcass quality and color. Most recently, talk in the industry about efficiency has turned a favorable light on the Beefmaster breed. Several of our leading breeders are now collecting data and our staff is looking into new EPDs to prove that we truly are the most efficient breed. Again, much is being done about other issues yet the breed is reluctant to address color.

This past April, the BBU Board of Directors had a meeting in Ardmore, Okla., at the Noble Research Institute (NRI). It included a conference and strategic planning meeting with some of its beef cattle experts. As they listed the favorable traits about Beefmaster cattle they also said that the breed had some major obstacles to overcome. When asked by one of our members what the biggest problem Beefmaster cattle needed to address was, the NRI expert responded, “you must do something about color”. The next day at the board meeting, the BBU Board of Directors asked the Long Range Planning Committee to put together a plan that would address what we have been asked to do for years from customers and members, address the color issue. From that point, the Long Range Planning Committee hosted multiple conference calls and then met in person at the annual summer meetings. After input from all members of the committee, a proposed color policy was created and unanimously approved by the Long Range Planning Committee to be presented to the Board of Directors at their meeting. During the remainder of the committee meetings, five other BBU committees including Advertising, Breed Improvement, International, Seedstock Marketing and Commercial Marketing addressed the color issue and either voted or agreed to support the proposed color policy coming from the Long Range Planning committee. These committees were composed of many breeders representing different geographic areas of the country and varying breeding programs and interest groups. Through all of the committee meetings there was not a single “nay” vote against support of the proposed color policy.

On Friday, June 29, 2018 the BBU Board of Directors met and the proposed color policy was made by the Long Range Planning committee. The proposed color policy contained an educational period and a ten year phase out plan for the removal of large areas of white coloring on all cattle sold or shown publicly. The proposed policy does not at any time remove paint colored cattle previously registered or born before January 1, 2021. It also only pertains to cattle sold or shown in public events. The chairman of the Long Range Planning committee went through the policy paragraph by paragraph and answered the questions of the board members concerning each part of the proposed policy. After edits were made, and pictures were shown in order to clarify proposed policy phases, the BBU Board of Directors voted unanimously to accept the proposed color policy. Once it passed with the requested changes, the board directed our Executive Vice President Collin Osborn to make the official edits and review the policy to ensure it was in accordance with the BBU by-laws.

Above is a very brief summary of how the proposed color policy came about and how it proceeded through the BBU committees and board of directors to this point. The BBU Color Policy was the result of years of communication with industry experts and customers, a request by the BBU board to the Long Range Planning committee to create a proposed solution, and a unanimous vote by the BBU Board of Directors. It was not the creation of any one individual or group of individuals and in no way was intended or designed to benefit any one group of breeders. The sole purpose of the acceptance of this policy by the BBU Board of Directors was to address an ongoing issue for the long-term betterment of the breed as a whole.

Please note the following:

  • At no point in the policy will paint cattle or cattle with white in excess of the allowable amount be refused registration. All colors can be registered.
  • The paper posted on social media has no clarifications, additions or subtractions that the board approved (it is not the approved document).
  • BBU will not be able to post a final version until all edits are made and the policy is thoroughly reviewed to be in accordance with the By-Laws.
  • No guideline or rule will go into effect until January 1, 2021.
  • The next six months is intended to be a comment period (in which the board of directors wants to hear from membership) with the educational phase set to start January 1, 2019.
  • The staff will begin the process of educating the membership with diagrams and material to explain the color guidelines after the six-month comment period has ended.
  • During the comment period, changes to the policy may be made or the policy rescinded as a whole.

Questions that have been frequently asked about the policy, as it currently exists, are as follows:

  • Can we register and transfer paint calves, cows or bulls after January 1, 2021? Answer: Yes, at all times
  • Can we sell paints off of the ranch and new owner register them? Answer: Yes, at all times.
  • Will white underlines be allowed to show or sell? Answer: Yes, at all times.
  • Will we be able to register or show a mottle faced animal? Answer: Yes, a mottle or white face can be registered, and shown or sold publicly.

In conclusion, the members of the BBU Board of Directors love the young people involved in the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association (JBBA) and many of them have given of their time, cattle, genetics and resources to support this organization. If not for the generosity of our BBU breeders this program would not be able to survive or have seen the growth that it has. The BBU Board of Directors believes that they are blessed with some of the greatest young people in the cattle industry. It has never been, nor ever will be the intent to do anything to intentionally harm the juniors or the JBBA.

The board would like to make it known that every member is important and asks everyone to understand that the board does not represent any one agenda, but the entire breed association as a whole. It has been and will remain to be the purpose of the BBU Board of Directors to do what is best for the betterment of its members and Beefmaster cattle breed as a whole.
The BBU Board of Directors looks forward to any and all comments concerning this matter and will take them into consideration.

Sincerely,

BBU Board of Directors

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Beefmaster Caps and Cups Make Great Gifts!

We have several different styles of caps for sale that have our new logo on them! Cap options are in photos below – $20 each plus shipping. If you would like to order a cap please call Jeralyn at 210-732-3132 to pay with a credit card over the phone. You can also email jnovak@beefmasters.org to order. All caps are one size fits all and have a snap back adjuster. We are also selling Beefmaster Breeders United RTIC 30 Oz Stainless Steel Tumbler cups for $30 each plus shipping.

Order Now→

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Exhibit with BBU at Our 2018-2019 Trade Shows

 

Below is a list of the trade shows Beefmaster Breeders United will participate in as an exhibitor for the 2018 – 2019 convention season. We allow members to participate as a co-exhibitor with our booth space, for a fee, to promote sales or private treaty sales. If you would like to share in the cost and the booth space at any of the trade shows listed below please contact Jeralyn Novak at jnovak@beefmasters.org or 210-732-3132. At all of the trade shows we welcome any and all BBU members to come work the booth and promote the association at no cost.

2018

  • Texoma Cattlemen’s Conference: June 15, 2018 – Ardmore Convention Center, Ardmore, Oklahoma​
  • Oklahoma Cattlemen Association: July 20-21, 2018 – Embassy Suites in Norman, Oklahoma
  • Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course: August 6-8, 2018 – Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • Ozark Fall FarmFest – October 5-7, 2018 – Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield, Missouri
  • California Cattlemen Association: December 2018 – Reno, Nevada

2019

  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association: January 30-February 1, 2019 – New Orleans Morial Convention Center
  • Louisiana Cattlemen Association: Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show – January 30-February 1, 2019 – New Orleans Morial Convention Center
  • Tennessee Cattlemen Association: January 2019 – Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • Louisiana Ag Expo: January 18-19, 2019 – IKE Hamilton Expo Center – West Monroe, Louisiana
  • Ozark Spring Roundup – March 2019 – Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield, Missouri
  • Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers: March 29–31, 2019 – Fort Worth, Texas
  • Alabama Cattlemen Association: March 2019 – Huntsville, Alabama
  • Georgia Cattlemen Association: April 2019 – Perry, Georgia
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Horton Selected as 2018 Summer Intern

 

Boerne, Texas - Emily Horton has been selected as the 2018 Livestock Publications Council (LPC) summer intern for Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU). Emily is a senior in agricultural communications at Oklahoma State University and will graduate in December 2018. Horton began her internship duties on June 4 at the BBU office in Boerne.

Emily’s family has owned and operated a cow-calf operation for more than 120 years in Hardeman County, Texas on the historic Bar A Ranch. For more than 40 of those years, Emily’s family has raised Beefmaster cattle and she is incredibly passionate about the breed. She is also a very talented writer, photographer and enjoys public relations and event management.

This summer she will work with the BBU communications team, helping to plan and coordinate the production of the fall issue of The Beefmaster Pay Weight, as well as assist in capturing content for use in marketing pieces. She will help coordinate and cover the Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association National Show and Convention, as well as manage social media platforms and web presence. In addition, she will write articles for The Beefmaster Cowman magazine, the BBU e-newsletter and blog.

“We had numerous strong applicants for this year’s internship program, and it was a difficult decision, but Emily rose to the top,” says Jeralyn Novak, BBU Communications Coordinator. “This LPC program is a great opportunity for young communicators to explore the field of agriculture communications, as well as allowing organizations to employ a fresh, youthful perspective.”

BBU was selected to host the Livestock Publications Council internship program and thanks LPC for the opportunity.

Horton will share her experiences with LPC members and attend the 2018 Ag Media Summit. Any LPC member organization interested in this opportunity can learn more at https://livestockpublications.com/student_internship_program.php.

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Beefmaster Breeders United is a not-for-profit breed registration organization that provides programs and services for its members. Beefmaster, Beefmaster Advancer and E6 cattle are selected on the “Six Essentials” of disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, milk production and hardiness.

 

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Life Tribute to Andy Boudreau

 

Andy Boudreau, a young 83-year-old, met life’s challenges head-on, but he could not overcome an aggressive lung cancer and its side effects no matter how hard he fought. Andy lost his final challenge and passed away with close family and friends at his side on May 24, 2018.

Andy was born on December 18, 1934, in Beaumont, Texas. He attended parochial schools with his siblings, commuting from their rural Lumberton home.  During his teen years, he participated in all sports, excelling in football, basketball, and baseball.  He attended Wharton County Junior College, and then Andy, a mathematics wizard, went on to receive a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lamar University.  Relocating to Houston in the mid ‘60’s and later to Richmond in 1979, Andy spent his professional career constructing gasoline plants all over the world, retiring from Mustang Engineering three years ago.

During the mid ‘80s, Andy discovered his true passion when he bought six Beefmaster heifers from a rancher in Welfare between Kerrville and Boerne.  As ranchers, Andy and Kim were off and running when they bought their first bull from Hans Whittenburg in Edna, and went on to purchase six more heifers from Bill Niaser in El Campo. Then, in 1989, they joined Beefmaster Breeders United, becoming official ranchers and active members in BBU.   This resulted in many happy memories and friendships that have enriched their lives in a ways they could never  have imagined throughout the past 30 years.

Andy loved his life.  He also loved hunting, playing and watching golf, old western movies, John Wayne,classic country music, puppies and old dogs, a ribeye steak, and pecan pie.  Andy was a member of Fort Bend County Museum, Pecan Grove Country Club, lifetime member of Beefmaster Breeders United, and lifetime member of Fort Bend County Fair.  Best of all, however, were the times he spent actively engaged in BBU sales and functions, his role on the South Texas Beefmaster Breeders Board of Directors, and being around his cattle.  Andy’s ashes will be scattered at the “rancho” along with those of his much loved Golden Retriever, “Dutch”, who laid on top of Andy every chance he got.

Preceding Andy in death are his parents Myrtle and Alvin Boudreau, sister Nina-Lou Oster, brother Tony Boudreau, nephew Bryan Richardson, sister-in-law Carol Boudreau, and brother-in-law Colonel Raymond M. Oster.  Andy is survived by and will be forever loved and missed by his beloved wife, Kim; sister-in-law Greta Nerren (C.W.), nieces Nina Kenney (Patrick), Leslie Shouse (John), Tara DiSalvo (John), Thalia DeLong (Dave), nephews Raymond Oster, Jr. (Debbie), Mark Oster (Rachel), Paul Oster (Katai), and Kenneth Richardson, great niece
Belle Shouse, and great nephews Will Shouse, and Michael and Paul Kenney along with a host of more great nieces and nephews, cousins, and many good and dear friends.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. For those wishing, acknowledgements can be sent to the American Heart Association or the charity of your choice.  Words of condolence and remembrance may be sent to andritaranch@comcast.net.

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Performance Article Series: Part 3 Other Traits Measured at Birth and Weaning

 

By Lance Bauer, Director of Breed Improvement & Western Field Representative

There are several other traits that are measured either at the time of birth or when calves are weaned. These include a calving ease score and udder scores at birth, then mature cow weight at weaning. These traits are important for the survival of the calf, the longevity of the cow and the efficiency of the cow. A live calf every year is the goal of most producers and having low maintenance cattle that are able to produce calves for many years are very valuable. By measuring these traits there is information provided for calculating both direct and maternal calving ease, as well as the development of new EPDs for udder scores and mature cow weights. These are all traits that are important for maternal ability and can possibly be incorporated into the calculation of $M index.

Calving ease is an extremely important trait that has a large economic value. Most producers select for calving ease by looking at the birth weight, but the birth weight is just an indicator trait of the calving ease. Calving ease is highly correlated to birth weight, but there are other factors that can influence calving ease and it is important to record calving ease scores when birth weights are taken. Calving ease scores range from 1 to 11, with 1 to 5 being the most commonly used. A calving ease score of 1 correlates to no difficulty, 2 means that there is minor difficulty and some assistance was required to pull the calf, 3 means there was major difficulty and a calf puller was used, 4 is a C-section and 5 is an abnormal presentation of the calf. These and the other calving ease scores can be found on the BBU codes reference page. Calving ease scores are used along with birth weight and other indicator traits to calculate Calving Ease Direct (CED) and Maternal Calving Ease (MCE) EPDs.

Another measure to take at birth is udder suspension and teat scores. Bad udders and teats are a large reason for culling cows and contribute to the longevity of a cow in production. The heritability of these udder traits is fairly high, as well and provides a good tool for helping decide which heifers to keep by looking at their dams. When taking udder scores there are two different variables to look at, the suspension of the udder and the teat size. The scores for udder suspension range from 1 to 9 with 1 being very pendulous, 3 being pendulous, 5 being moderate, 7 being tight and 9 being very tight. The scores for the teat size are in the same range with 1 being very large and balloon shaped, 3 being large, 5 being moderate, 7 being small and 9 being very small. An animal with an udder score of a 7-7 would have a tight udder with small teats, while one with a 3-1 would have a pendulous udder with very large balloon shaped teats. The chart at the end of this article gives examples of the different scores. These scores can help with culling cattle, helping to select replacements and can possibly be used in the calculation of EPDs.

Mature cow weight is the last trait in this article and should be taken at the time of weaning calves. This is a trait that relates to the efficiency of a cow, typically more moderate sized cows are more efficient and require less maintenance energy. This leaves more energy for the cow to expend for reproduction and the growth of a calf. When taking mature cow weights there needs to be a weight recorded, as well as a Body Condition Score (BCS) of 1-9. A body condition score of 1 is an animal that is emaciated, 3 is a thin animal, 5 is average, 7 is heavy conditioned and 9 is obese. These body condition scores are needed to help standardize the weight of the different animals in a group to the same BCS. Mature cow weight is a trait that can be used in the formation of a new EPD, as well as helping to strengthen the power of our $M index.

Recording these traits helps provide the producer with valuable tools in the selection and culling of cattle and provides information to BBU and also helps with the development of new EPDs and the strengthening of the $M index. The Beefmaster breed is known as a maternal breed and the more information that we have to help prove maternal strength the better. This data will help us as a breed to develop a larger market share in the commercial industry. These traits are all valuable to the commercial producer in terms of female production and culling criteria. The next article in this series will cover ultrasound carcass data.

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