The Beef Cattle Insitute Offers New Year Tips
Balancing Bull Selection Criteria for Heifer Matings
One of the most exciting times of the year on cow/calf operations is when the calves are born and producers can see the results of their breeding decisions. It can also be stressful and costly if those decisions lead to calving difficulties, which is why much care needs to be taken when planning those matings.
With bull buying season rapidly approaching the Beef Cattle Institute team of experts discuss the criteria for consideration when selecting bulls to bring into the breeding program.
“Think about what types of bulls you are going to turn out on what groups of females to define the need for calving ease,” says Dr. Bob Weaber, beef cattle extension specialist.
He recommends producers consider direct and material Calving Ease EPDs as a factor but also cautions that the decision shouldn’t be based solely on calving ease.
“Selecting for very hight levels of calving ease will lead to lighter calf birth weights over time on the calves and could lead to calf survival issues if taken to the extreme,” says Weaber.
Other factors include the time of year when the calves will be born and whether or not the females born from these matings will be retained in the herd.
BCI Cattle Chat Checklist
The Top Seven Criteria for
Picking a Bull for Replacement Heifers
Use the factors below to describe the level of calving ease performance needed.
Decide if the bull will be used only to breed replacement heifers or also used to breed cows.
Know the calf marketing plan so that the calf raised has value beyond being alive.
Consider the calving season to include the Calving Ease EPD requirement because winter born calves typically have heavier birth weights than summer or fall born calves.
Determine the breed of the bull you are going select and how that fits into your crossbreeding program.
Decide whether or not replacements from this mating will be retained.
Understand the current level of calving ease performance in first calf heifers and cows.
Employee Evaluation Time
January often brings New Years resolutions and, for many organizations, employee evaluations. No matter the size of the operation, the Beef Cattle Institute team of experts stress the value in taking advantage of the opportunities to communicate.
“When done well, an evaluation is helpful because it recognizes the things an employee has done well but also allows for discussion about priorities,” says Dr. Bob Larson, veterinarian.
Along with that Dr. Weaber shares it is important that managers allow their employees to offer feedback about their leadership. “Have an employee provide critical feedback about the management because that is a really important part of the communication and equipping employees to be successful.”
To learn more on this topic, check out the podcast link below.
–Beef Cattle Institute