I'm excited! (Lowline related)

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TJ

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It was a LOOOOOOOOOONG day yesterday.  Well, I got up @ 3:15 AM yesterday to make a trip up up to the northwestern/central part of Indiana to viisit 2 Lowline breeders, to look at a herd of Lowlines & to check on Doc Holliday.  One of the breeders, a semen customer, drove down from Michigan, to deliver a cow & to check out Doc Holliday in person.  I didn't get back until pretty late yesterday, so I am still a little groggy today. 


HOWEVER, several VERY exciting things happened yesterday...

1st... Doc's co-owner found out that all of her Lowline X Angus grass steers graded low choice and all were yield grade #1's & 2's!!  (clapping)  She now has had 83% of her grass steers grade choice since she got started a few years ago! She's using Doc Holliday for the 1st time, but it sounds like the future is VERY promising!  See #2 below!!   

2nd... Doc Holliday's Tru-Marbling test results came back from MMI yesterday too!!  Tru-marbling is a fairly new test, that is very similar to GeneStar's Marbling test, except the MMI Tru-Marbling test looks for a lot more markers than the current GeneStar marbling test does.  MMI scores the test results with a # value that they call an MGV, which is real similar to EPD's.  Anyway, Doc's Tru-Marbling score was +25.34!!  (clapping)  I didn't talk to the MMI rep, so this is 2nd handed, but that is easily in the high choice range for marbling & he made some favorable comments about Doc's marbling MGV #.  I found a chart on MMI's website & they have been running this test on steers & then comparing the test results to the actual carcass results on the rail.  It's interesting because all the select grades averaged a negative MGV number for marbling.  +7 was the avg MGV # for low choice.  +14 was the avg MGV for choice.  +20 was the avg MGV for high choice (Doc's MGV # is +25.34!!).  Prime carcasses only averaged +14, so it sounds like Doc Holliday is an extremely high marbling sire!! I am very excited about the potential!!    ;D   

3rd... I found some 1/2 blood Lowline females that will work perfect for Club Calf momma's!!  I've been looking for a way to produce some really good, low percentage Lowline Show Steers & I think that this could work out great.  The females are all Lowline X Angus F1 crosses and they are very wide butted, deep sided, sound, and very clean fronted.  Plus, they probably weigh 1200+, maybe even pushing 1300!!  And they are almost out of pasture... that grass is VERY short!!  I'd briefly seen them a couple of times before & was impressed, but now that they are mature, they really look good.  I asked about the possibility of having them bred to shorthorn or clubby bulls & selling me the calves on contract... and the idea is being considered.  I really hope that it works out because some of those 1/2 bloods were downright good & I'm already picking out the bulls!!  ;)     

I just had to share!!

TJ


           

 

DL

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TJ - that is great - I had a good day yesterday too - but on a scale of 1 to 10 yours was probably a 10!
 

Telos

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TJ - Those Lowlines got it goin on!!!  It makes me happy when others have a great day!!! Wishing everyone, many more happy days ahead.
 

TJ

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Telos said:
TJ - Those Lowlines got it goin on!!!  It makes me happy when others have a great day!!! Wishing everyone, many more happy days ahead.

Thanks, DL & Telos!! 

It was a good day.  Not a perfect day, and I was totally worn out at the end of it, but it was a very good one.  I enjoy looking at cattle (not just Lowlines), visiting with other cattle people (not just Lowline breeders) & nothing like receiving good news too!!  Plus, we had a few semen sales pending the test results, so that just made it even better! 

Wishing everyone else has a good day today!! 
 

TJ

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Doc's co-owner just informed that the MMI Rep told her that the +25.34 MGV that Doc scored is in the top 1% out of 19,000+ head (all breeds) that MMI has run the Marbling test on!!!!    ;D    (clapping)  To say that I am happy would be an understatement!! 

DL - it's still not quite a 10, but maybe a 9.5!!  ;) 
 

Show Heifer

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Heck TJ, if that doesn't rank as at LEAST a 12, I don't know what kinda life your living, but I sure would take a chunk of it!!!
Congrats on the great news on Doc!!! Sounds like some real potential to help out many different aspects of the cattle industry! (clapping)
 

TJ

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Show Heifer said:
Heck TJ, if that doesn't rank as at LEAST a 12, I don't know what kinda life your living, but I sure would take a chunk of it!!!
Congrats on the great news on Doc!!! Sounds like some real potential to help out many different aspects of the cattle industry! (clapping)

Thanks!  I'm still in a good mood because of the news. 

I'll agree that the news was a 12...  maybe even a 15!!  But, getting up @ 3:15 am, after staying up till midnight the night before & then not getting back to bed until 11:30pm, after spending 9+ hours on the road was the reason for the 9.5.  But, that part wasn't so bad, just as long as I don't have to do it all the time. 
 

knabe

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TJ, could you clarify the MMI scores for marbling a little bit please.  are the best scores centered around an imaginary mean of high choice and the scores go down from there if they grade both lower and higher, ie the score for prime was lower (+14 was the avg MGV for choice.)\

select grades    negative number
low choice        +7
choice              +14
high choice      +20
low prime          not reported
prime                +14
high prime        not reported

doc holliday score  25.34

also, is there a number of markers associated with his score.  there is a waygu bull i linked the other day i think that is 14 stars by genestar.  any thoughts on why you chose MMI over bovigen, and have you considered using the bovigen system for just one bull for "marketing" purposes as well?  i once saw some stats on the pervasiveness of tenderness, marbling genes in the general cattle population, and their presence is pretty meager, but could have been associated with sample bias for their relatively low presence just to market the system.  now for the very faint drum roll, have you ever seen any "smokey" marbling in your feeders?  this is usually referred to a smaller fat molecule which is not ususally visible when the carcass is graded, and may actually be more visible after the carcass has cooled for a couple of days like a friday kill and viewed on monday.
 

TJ

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knabe said:
TJ, could you clarify the MMI scores for marbling a little bit please.  are the best scores centered around an imaginary mean of high choice and the scores go down from there if they grade both lower and higher, ie the score for prime was lower (+14 was the avg MGV for choice.)\

select grades     negative number
low choice         +7
choice               +14
high choice       +20
low prime           not reported
prime                +14
high prime        not reported

doc holliday score  25.34

also, is there a number of markers associated with his score.  there is a waygu bull i linked the other day i think that is 14 stars by genestar.  any thoughts on why you chose MMI over bovigen, and have you considered using the bovigen system for just one bull for "marketing" purposes as well?  i once saw some stats on the pervasiveness of tenderness, marbling genes in the general cattle population, and their presence is pretty meager, but could have been associated with sample bias for their relatively low presence just to market the system.  now for the very faint drum roll, have you ever seen any "smokey" marbling in your feeders?  this is usually referred to a smaller fat molecule which is not ususally visible when the carcass is graded, and may actually be more visible after the carcass has cooled for a couple of days like a friday kill and viewed on monday.

The big reason that we chose MMI over Bovigen is because MMI uses 128 DNA markers for their new marbling test, while Bovigen's version of the GeneStar Marbling test only tests for 4 Markers according to their website.  124 more DNA markers is a huge difference!  But, yes, both tests use DNA markers & the MGV value is based on dna markers. 

As for the MGV score... An MGV is kind of like an EPD only it is a number based on the dna makers.  It looks like they are using 0 as neutral (which seems to be right around low choice/high select) & the higher positive numbers equal more marbling within the choice grades & the higher negative numbers will equal less marbling within the select grades.  Like everything else, this isn't a perfect test, but it does seem to be pretty reliable.  The way I understand it, MMI tested 14,305 head of steers & heifers in 6 commercial feedlots for marbling & compared the results with the actual carcass quality grades & I think that is how they based the MGV scores.     

Doc Holliday score an MGV of +25.34 

According to a chart on MMI's website... 

Out of 8,255 steers tested...
9      graded prime...                +14 MGV average
93    graded high choice...      +20 MGV average
475  graded medium choice...  +14 MGV average
2008 graded low choice...        +7 MGV average
-----  -----  -----  ------  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  ----
3899 graded high select...        -6 MGV average
1344 graded low select...        -14 MGV average
377  graded "no roll"...            -20 MGV average


Out of 6050 heifers tested...
5      graded prime...                +14 MGV average
78    graded high choice...      +12 MGV average
423  graded medium choice...  + 9 MGV average
1526 graded low choice...            0 MGV average
----  -----  -----  -----  ----  -----  -----  -----  -----  ------
2835 graded high select...        - 9 MGV average
915  graded low select...        -20 MGV average
268  graded "no roll"...            -23 MGV average   


Here is a link to the page with the chart & other info...
http://www.mmigenomics.com/16858-trubreed_marketingmaterials.pdf
It is in PDF format. 

I am still learning this myself, but I hope that helps! 

TJ

         
 

knabe

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interesting data from a couple of perspectives.  it seems sufficient pressure has been placed on feeding where the most numbers are between low choice and hi select.  the next test would be to see if progeny from a marker selected bull could skew either the mean or the distribution.  from inital tests to do this, i have seen a change, but at the time, the test was too small to deehphasize selection bias. i am still confused why the prime carcass gets a lower number, other than what they are selecting for is to be in the high choice range, and deselect markers in outside this range as feeding for this much fat is counterproductive in their opinion.  i know this sounds strange, but i am interested in where the fat is which i think MMI tests for as well such as inside the body cavity, outside (backfat) or inside the muscle (marbling).  can anyone comment on wheter they think minimizing backfat may be a bad thing survivability wise in colder climates as an insulator.  robert de baca's wife once told me that one thing she thought was intersting about angus cattle was that in the winter, angus would have snow on their back, while other's (she didn't say what) the snow was melted off indicating more calories were being used to maintain body temp.

no genetic testing company has tried to determine what percentage effect photoperiodism plays in the ability to marble, with all inquiries by myself resulting in unreturned inquiries, kinda like asking which cutting stud would add foot size to my mare and could you send pictures.  no response to that one either.

the bovigen markers have been "certified" by the usda, for whatever that's worth.  the number of markers MMI uses is a strategy that is a big tent meaning different markers may work with different genetic backgrounds and not others at the same percentage.  i would like to see them report on the "percent" effect of those markers, which is economically difficult for them as they have so many markers, and well, to validate them is expensive.  a neat comparison of validated markers (bovigen) vs the big tent method (MMI). 

also interesting is just the data distribution itself, it's not a normal distribution.  only 5 and 9 primes,but lots of norolls.  perhaps from a purely statistical perspsective, the data may be real as the lower end of the carcasses just need further partitioning.  seems to be the most clustering around  high select, which is somewhat reassuring from a feeding perspective as that's what appears to be the goal of the feeders to retain profits from not too much feed to serve the costco walmart markets.  seems somewhat disappointing from a restaraunt and eating experience.  the data could also be skewed by the sample population itself.  if they selected cattle that had little chance of marbling, and if there was a small set of cattle that had some marbling distribution, they could have selected for markers for those cattle instead of marbling.  that probably doesn't make sense, but i would like to see some generational data.  there is probalby little doubt doc holliday has something going for him though.  how about a test with the same number of cattle with doc holliday as the sire of two generations of data, all linebred, with all semen sales to TJ?

my response is already too long as i have lost sight of the fact that prime has a low score, perhaps indicating there are markers in that group that are not in the MMI dataset, but in doc holliday and hopefully not just in the fact he is a smaller terminal size than probably most of the animals in the test.
 

TJ

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knabe said:
interesting data from a couple of perspectives.  it seems sufficient pressure has been placed on feeding where the most numbers are between low choice and hi select.  the next test would be to see if progeny from a marker selected bull could skew either the mean or the distribution.  from inital tests to do this, i have seen a change, but at the time, the test was too small to deehphasize selection bias. i am still confused why the prime carcass gets a lower number, other than what they are selecting for is to be in the high choice range, and deselect markers in outside this range as feeding for this much fat is counterproductive in their opinion.  i know this sounds strange, but i am interested in where the fat is which i think MMI tests for as well such as inside the body cavity, outside (backfat) or inside the muscle (marbling).  can anyone comment on wheter they think minimizing backfat may be a bad thing survivability wise in colder climates as an insulator.  robert de baca's wife once told me that one thing she thought was intersting about angus cattle was that in the winter, angus would have snow on their back, while other's (she didn't say what) the snow was melted off indicating more calories were being used to maintain body temp.

no genetic testing company has tried to determine what percentage effect photoperiodism plays in the ability to marble, with all inquiries by myself resulting in unreturned inquiries, kinda like asking which cutting stud would add foot size to my mare and could you send pictures.  no response to that one either.

the bovigen markers have been "certified" by the usda, for whatever that's worth.  the number of markers MMI uses is a strategy that is a big tent meaning different markers may work with different genetic backgrounds and not others at the same percentage.  i would like to see them report on the "percent" effect of those markers, which is economically difficult for them as they have so many markers, and well, to validate them is expensive.  a neat comparison of validated markers (bovigen) vs the big tent method (MMI). 

also interesting is just the data distribution itself, it's not a normal distribution.  only 5 and 9 primes,but lots of norolls.  perhaps from a purely statistical perspsective, the data may be real as the lower end of the carcasses just need further partitioning.  seems to be the most clustering around  high select, which is somewhat reassuring from a feeding perspective as that's what appears to be the goal of the feeders to retain profits from not too much feed to serve the costco walmart markets.  seems somewhat disappointing from a restaraunt and eating experience.  the data could also be skewed by the sample population itself.  if they selected cattle that had little chance of marbling, and if there was a small set of cattle that had some marbling distribution, they could have selected for markers for those cattle instead of marbling.  that probably doesn't make sense, but i would like to see some generational data.  there is probalby little doubt doc holliday has something going for him though.  how about a test with the same number of cattle with doc holliday as the sire of two generations of data, all linebred, with all semen sales to TJ?

my response is already too long as i have lost sight of the fact that prime has a low score, perhaps indicating there are markers in that group that are not in the MMI dataset, but in doc holliday and hopefully not just in the fact he is a smaller terminal size than probably most of the animals in the test.

RE the prime grade calves averaging +14 (lower than high choice @ +20)...  I don't think that they purposely gave the prime calves a lower MGV score, I just think that is the way it all worked out with the DNA markers of those animals.  Since only 9 steers graded prime out of 8,000+, I'd say the the total #'s aren't large enough to make the averages work out for the prime calves.  My guess is that it is a lot like ET transfer... if you only implant 3 eggs, you could very easily end up with a 33% preg rate.  But, if you implant 33 eggs, you probably would get closer to the normal 50-60% rates.  So my guess is that if you had 90 prime calves instead of 9, you would likely see higher MGV #'s. I would also think that factors like total days on feed, the ration fed, etc., etc. would effect how different MGV #'s would actually grade.  In other words an animal with an MGV of 14 could grade prime at one feedlot, but the same MGV 14 animal would grade choice at another feedlot under different conditions.  Don't know if that makes any since or if it is even correct, but that's my best guess.     

I would think that MMI is testing only for internal fat (marbling), but I can't say that with certainty. 

As far as external fat is concerned... Yes, in some commercial enviornments where it gets extermely cold, I do think that external fat can actually be a positive for the rancher.  FWIW, although Lowlines are easy keeping, but most of these Lowlines don't carry an extreme amount of external fat like some Angus cattle do, it's mostly internal.  That's why Doc's co-owner had choice quality grades, but 1's & 2's for yield grades.   

RE "how about a test with the same number of cattle with doc holliday as the sire of two generations of data, all linebred, with all semen sales to TJ?"

Now you are talking!!  Think that we could get the members of this board to start a linebred/Doc Holliday petition going & send it to MMI???    ;)  ;D  (clapping) 

Seriously though, I'd also like to see something like that happen... say with a group of sires with different MGV's & test their linebred progeny over a couple generations.   I do think that would be a great idea. 




 

 
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