Monday, 16 May 2011

Selective Breeding

I'm finally able to get my ducks in line and write you all another blog! This past week I worked every single day, I am trying to put in as many hours as possible so I can receive my Health Care Aide ASAP! Also in about 5 hours I will be on my way to California! I am going through school with my band class, this next week will consist of sunburns, Universal Studios, a Dodger Game, and of course tons of Disneyland!!

After receiving a comment, and then later having a conversation with the lady who does my nails about selective breeding and what we look for, I decided to do a blog on it. About a year ago my dad put together an ad for the Canadian Hereford Digest that expands on what our own farm looks for in a breeding bull and cow.

As you can see we have the majority of top things we search for. This includes:
Fertility-You need a bull with good sperm quality and count to impregnate your cows. We are always striving to have an extremely small number of open cows.
Milking Ability-For a cow to raise a good calf, that cow needs to have a good sized bag with plenty of milk. Also having four equally placed and sized teats are desired.
Natural Thickness and Muscling-This is a desired trait because no matter what type and breed of cattle (with the exception of Dairy) you want to see an animal that is thick and processes muscle everywhere.
Carcass Traits-This is a very important thing to my family as we are always trying to build our Marbling and Rib-Eye EPD's. (I will talk about EPD's some other day!) This is important because when you have good carcass traits it results in delicious beef.
Pigmentation and Eye-Set- This is a very important trait that breeders look for in Herefords, this is because it is believed when they is more pigmentation around the eye, the animal will have a less likely chance of getting pink-eye.
Structural Soundness-No matter if it is a bull or cow you want good feet and legs on your cattle. This is so they are able to maneuver around without needing extra care.
Longevity and Productivity-Every breeder wants the most money out of a beef animal as possible. The more calves a cow produces, the more change in your pocket. This is something my family achieves for, the cow displayed in the picture lived to be just about 19 years old.

We are constantly trying to expand and better our herd by introducing all of these traits and others even more. Does your family farm have another major traits they selectively breed? Or do you have any questions about these traits?

In this coming up week I do hope to blog, but the chances may be slim. However I will have my camera ready, taking many pictures of California!!

xoxo Michelle

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