In January, we focused on the new beef EBVs from AHDB. These new EBVs are calculated using data from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS), abattoirs and breed societies, giving high accuracy figures for bulls that have had progeny slaughtered.
The abattoir data currently covers 40% of the national kill and more than two million carcase records for both purebred and crossbred animals have been used to develop these EBVs. However, there were a further two million abattoir records that could not be used to generate EBVs. This was because the sire details of the finished animal were not recorded when registering their calves. In order for a bull to have these EBVs available, their sire details must be registered with BCMS on the passports of their calves. Without this information, any data relating to the bull is meaningless.
You can help to drive the industry forward by making sure you register the sire whenever it is known. Keeping a list of ear tag numbers by the side of your computer will make it easier and quicker when registering calves. If using artificial insemination (AI), a simple way to keep track is to make sure all semen delivery cards are kept safe as these will have the sire ear tag number on them.
AHDB Beef & Lamb has produced a Suckler Breeding Plan to help farmers record sires used on groups of animals. This can be found at beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/returns
The new carcase trait EBVs for bulls that have them can be found at egenes.co.uk/carcassdata. You can search by pedigree name or ear tag number.