EPD's

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knabe

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i'm probably being naieve, but should breed averages be posted in the breed average epd links?  seems like it should be a number everyone should know what it is off the tip of their tongue.  I realize cross breed inferences are suspect.  I am amazed at the distribution for angus on the bottom end for scrotal, granted, that small nutters will get cut, skewing that.  Anyone know of a large SC bull, angus or maine, with good tenderness markers?
two links, one for angus, the other for maine's

http://www.angussiresearch.com/brekdown.html
http://maine-anjou.weaveyourwebdreams.com/sires/sirespecs.asp
 

red

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Knabe- Randy Pohlman has done a lot w/ the tenderness gene. He has both Angus & Maines so maybe that's why he has worked w/ it more than some.
http://www.pohlmanfarms.com/
He'd be somebody to talk too. Is very knowledgable in my opinion.

Red
 

xxcc

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knabe,

my honest opinion is that, by and large, in breeds like the Maines, Chi's and even with the Shortie's, EPDs are a reflection of how sharp ones pencil is.  let me ask you this, are Charlie Phillips cattle really that good?  why doesn't everyone have a "Phillip" animal in their herd?  His highs and lows make the EPDs in the whole breed average seem like a joke.

but that's just one man's opinion, xxcc
 

knabe

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good point xxcc.  reviewing SC in bulls that have tenderness stars and a few of them are REALLLLLLY negative as far as way down in the distribution.  the bottom side of the distribution has absolutely NO mirror to the top side, so obviously not a normal distribution, so the one's down in the 95%tile, are really bad, since probably more progeny and other raisin nutters don't make it to the reporting.  I for one would like to see a distribution curve for some of these epds' with data points included and the line drawn over them.  this is obviously why they change dramatically on new bulls, and showing data this way would be easier to understand accuracy.  one could also give the data points different colors to indicate data reported within herd of breeder, owner, and other herds.  it just makes me not even pick up my pencil to break it when i see one tail of a distribution look so bad.  distribution curves explain very easily where your individual sits, particularly with a trait that has small increments, or a negative change such as WW as a breed average moves to smaller cattle.  I like to see how tight the points are, not just a direction.  Accuracy numbers i think are a little misleading.    zzzzzzzzzzzz  oh, waking up.  i guess you could never put a distribution on a sale catalog, and who cares anyway when you are yanking calves and think its normal.  like to see unassisted get a little more respect compared to BW in general.
 

red

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I think we tend to get skeptical when we look at EPD's. I know DL had been very skeptical of Money Man's BW EPD's for the longest time until she spoke directly to Majors. Maybe that is one of the best recommendations- if you are uncertain about the accuracy of the EPD's ask for records. They were able to provide her w/ birth weights that truly showed him to have a -6.7 BW.

Red
 

sjcattleco

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Here is another thought..... if a person bred and rasied cattle by function and design noone would need EPD's... Also if you breed cattle and use EPD's as a major selection tool how do you gain anything??its single trait selection and veryone including the experts tell you not to do that. And there are no curve bending EPD bulls...  Breeding for Birth Wt in general makes cattle frail and poor doing... Breeding for Milk only makes cattle bigger... If you make cattle bigger then Weaning and Yearling wts increase... We certainly don't need that!  The funny thing to me is that there are no EPD's for things that really make you money... Like fleshing ability, longevity,  feed efficiency, calf vigor,  Stuff that really makes money for the guy raising the calf on the farm... EPD's might make feedlots money and maybe bankers money and it gives PhD's and data fanatics something to do all day... Breeding great cattle is an art not a science! Look at all these old gentics people are crazy about now..... If you use them your EPD's will TANK!!! if you linebreed your EPD's will TANK!!!  Funny  a guy starts on a linebreeding program and 5-6 yrs into it he is raising cattle thatare better than  he has never dreamed of and his EPD's are totally meaningless..... has Weaning wts of high 500's and the EPD's are negative for it and milk... makes no sense so why bother...
 

knabe

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sj, you are the man.  i think i will frame

The funny thing to me is that there are no EPD's for things that really make you money... Like fleshing ability, longevity,  feed efficiency, calf vigor

although if i wanted those four, i would be raising longhorns.  they can get fat (relative term) on starthistle, live longer than i will, can gain on carbon offsets, and give birth on the run with the calf in tow.

that said, the most puzzling epd to me is fertility.  a pig has huge gonads, no sperm, horses have a fertility issue in some lines that perform well, aka doc bar, cattle that carcass well seem to have small nads.  it's obviously easy to look at them and make a corrolation, but i would think we should be more along than that.  i agree on the art point, which is why i also am exploring the feed issue as it relates to pounds.  for example, i could feed cows annual non-native grasses which flush in the rain, got nothing after that, throw some bales out there, or just improve my pastures so they gain shrinking the time to pay for CHO and N in the form of corn and other bunked feedstuffs.  seems to me, some of the best breeders in history were grass farmers, starting with goodnight.
 

sjcattleco

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knabe said:
sj, you are the man.  i think i will frame

The funny thing to me is that there are no EPD's for things that really make you money... Like fleshing ability, longevity,  feed efficiency, calf vigor

although if i wanted those four, i would be raising longhorns.  they can get fat (relative term) on starthistle, live longer than i will, can gain on carbon offsets, and give birth on the run with the calf in tow.

that said, the most puzzling epd to me is fertility.  a pig has huge gonads, no sperm, horses have a fertility issue in some lines that perform well, aka doc bar, cattle that carcass well seem to have small nads.  it's obviously easy to look at them and make a corrolation, but i would think we should be more along than that.  i agree on the art point, which is why i also am exploring the feed issue as it relates to pounds.  for example, i could feed cows annual non-native grasses which flush in the rain, got nothing after that, throw some bales out there, or just improve my pastures so they gain shrinking the time to pay for CHO and N in the form of corn and other bunked feedstuffs.  seems to me, some of the best breeders in history were grass farmers, starting with goodnight.

WOW I am not sure how to respond to that??

Are you serious about the Longhorn comment?


Would you spend money on feed or hay or grass or fertilizer or lime or whatever and then raise inferior animals to harvest it?? that would be like growing corn and buying a 10 yr old combine and paying new price for it...

I am not sure how to really take your post...
 

knabe

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it was a joke,

your quote

The funny thing to me is that there are no EPD's for things that really make you money... Like fleshing ability, longevity,  feed efficiency, calf vigor

is right on the money.  i agree totally. 

however, in that lost box of photos and journals, were all my pictures of carcasses from longhorns, and all the others, from the cal poly feeding trials that were choice prime etc, and longhorns had some of the least lbs of feed per pound of gain compared to all the other breeds, including the usual, angus, hereford, gelbvieh, brahman, brangus etc.  granted they were about the size of a 3oz petite cut filet, but they looked nicely flecked and didn't need much trim if at all in that area.  i took pictures, fed, doctored, and followed graded carcasses of all the steers (all breeds) for 3 years and took pics of all of them the day they arrived, 3 days before slaughter, and all their ribeye's, recorded their carcass numbers feed conversion etc. to provide for presentation awards.

best quote at the dinner (aptly named "the feedlot") by the livestock judge at the time.  waiter asked him if he wanted steaksauce, and he replied, "I hope not!"
 

ELBEE

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Knabe, your post makes no sense to me. I can't tell if your contradicting Scott or yourself? Remember I didn't go to college, so the only language I understand is Midwestern slang.
 

knabe

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i am contradicting myself, and i'll take midwestern slang over any accent.  my kin are from near alva ok, and hazelton ks.  great grandpa raised a small herd of milking shorthorns for meat and milk and to market them to other farmers for the milk bucket till they got ran out by stockers.  he homesteaded, lived in a hole in the ground for two winters, drug fence posts to town for sale, purchased "waste" land, and put tiny dams on it to collect top soil from his neighbors, turned it into pasture, and eventually wheat ground, and there's a gas well on it that eked out enough money for my grandmother help in retirement, had one car his whole life and his last name is my screen name.  that's efficiency.
 

Jill

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Well, I'll give you some midwestern slang.  The white stuff on the pile of chicken s**t is still chicken S**T!  I think somewhere EPD's probably have a value, but I have been in Maine breed long enough to know that the EPD's in this breed are just numbers on a piece of paper.  Majors can back up the EPD for Money Man because they run enough cattle and are honest enough to show you his records and turn in accurate numbers, I think they are the exception rather than the rule.  No, (I'll answer this one before anyone asks ;)) I haven't  had a bad day, just been around a while.
 

red

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Jill- (clapping)

As I will always remember what I was told when I tried to turn in a birth weight of 146 pounds. "You'll mess up the bull's EPD's!" This quote came from someone at the AMAA. No wonder EPD'S are worthless sometimes.

Red
 

genes

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sjcattleco said:
.Also if you breed cattle and use EPD's as a major selection tool how do you gain anything??its single trait selection and veryone including the experts tell you not to do that.

Well like you say, no one recommends using EPDs for single trait selection.  That is why there are EPDs for many different traits, not just one.  And just because EPDs are looked t does not mean a breeder has to abandon all other types of selection.  It's just something to give you an idea of what an animal has to pass on and what they have to offer for traits that aren't plain to the eye.

The funny thing to me is that there are no EPD's for things that really make you money... Like fleshing ability, longevity,  feed efficiency, calf vigor,

That's because EPDs require a measurable trait, and these are inherently hard to measure.  Plus, you complain that a guy with a scale can't turn in the right birthweight, how do you expect him to turn in the correct daily feed intake on his cows?




I understand your guys' concern about the inaccuracies and inconsistencies that result from the way the numbers get turned in, but I think you are putting a lot of the blame on the tool itself rather than the people who are using it improperly.
 

knabe

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i don't have a position either way about epd's because i am ignorant about it.  i am just saying that i would like to see the data points, as most measured things fall into a normal distribution, no matter how good an epd looks.  if you have holes in the distribution, this is an easier way to see that something is fishy.  like they say, the easist way to lie is with statistics.

the most famous graph of all time is a graph by Minard about Napoleons march on moscow and back and incorporates stats that don't lie.

http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/posters    or
http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/minard

basically the graph outlines the number of troops over time and encounter, the year, the temp, the route,which direction they were going, and some terrain info.  graph is easy to understand and dramatically illustrates the cost of war.
 

genes

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so Knabe you are saying you would like to just see a graph of the raw data submitted to check for normality?  Interesting.  While some skewdness would be a result of know effects we end up correcting for in the EPD equations, it would be interesting to see if there are some red flags for certain bulls.
 
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