Here is what makes us different and unique from any other seed stock operation: our genetic culling is done through our cowherd which is exposed to an environment that mimics any successful commercial operation. Our replacement females are NOT SELECTED on EPD’s. They are selected on maternal traits, conformation, reproductive efficiency and fleshing ability. Our sires are selected on high accuracy EPD’s, performance and observation of phenotypic data.
Let’s start with our cowherd. Our genetic culling is done through our cows. It is simple but severe.
Conformation: Cows that stay in the herd must have correct conformation (udder quality, feet, legs) and be deep bodied but feminine. Next, they must possess MATERNAL TRAITS: Cows must demonstrate mothering ability in many ways - licking the calf and getting it up, calving ease,disposition is the most hidden, economically relevant trait that there is. We put more emphasis on calving ease than birth weight. This means that the pelvis type and size, the depth of the pelvis, and the distance between the hooks and pins are all lined up to have a calf easily whether it’s a first calf heifer or a cow. We have this calving ease data noted for our own records because we do not believe that the few simple calving codes required by the association are defined enough to truly identify calving ease in the cattle. REPRODUCTIVE EFFICIENCY: Our cows are put to the test by being in a limited feed resource area, which means to keep our expenses down feed is rationed and not poured to them. Our cattle are expected to milk well enough to raise a big calf and breed back in a 45 day window, while also being exposed to numerous environmental challenges through rough pasture conditions. Our concentration on reproductive efficiency is passed from our herd to commercial operations in the form of fertility bred into the daughters of the bulls that are used out of our program. The final trait in our culling criteria is fleshing ability. Cows that jump through every hoop stated above will be lastly culled on their overall fleshing ability. When we preg check we record body condition scores as dictated by our vet and we note the overall flesh that the cows are carrying at the end of summer. You may ask “why”? Why cull a cow based on fleshing ability when she has jumped through all the hoops, brought in a calf, and is making money when some race horse looking animals bring in profitable steers? Here is the reality: RED ANGUS FEMALES ARE TOPPING MARKETS ACROSS THE NATION but not just any Red Angus female. It is not the big, horsey type of cattle, nor is it the small, scrawny, low performance animals. The herds that are selecting for deep bodied, easy fleshing type of animals are producing a female that is acquiring a reputation and bringing in more money per animal than their steer mates. THIS IS HUGE! Understanding that your females have to possess “the look” should be a major tool in your toolbox for profitability in your cowherd!!
Now we will discuss the selecting of the dam. It is not often that we will select a female out of the herd to influence our genetic program. Why? Because Unlike sires, a dam can never be proven in her lifetime of raising natural calves. For instance, an average Crump Red Angus cow may only raise five calves in her years of production whereas a sire may produce 100-500 calves. You roll the dice on a female, per say, five times and you might get above average numbers on that dice. Now roll that dice 500 times and the genetic patterns may move to the lower end of the dice. As much as we like to say that our program is based on good cows, and it is, one single female is rarely ever chosen to influence our whole program. What means more to us than what we see in a cow raising a few good calves is the sire in her pedigree because that sire has proven to throw deep bodied females like her that have curve bending performance, feed lot carcass, and gainability proven in hundreds to thousands of calves in many environments around the nation. There are only two situations where we will use a female to improve the genetics in our program. One is selecting females to genetically enhance an entire herd through an individual herd bull that we have chosen to keep back. These herd bulls have to possess outstanding performance, genomically enhanced EPD’s and, importantly, be out of a cow that is out of a daughter of a proven sire. The other scenario is through flushing donors. Our donor program has grown to be very large as we are placing 150 to 200 embryos every year yet we are still putting less than 1.5% of our cow on the donor list. Our donors have to possess all traits that we talked about in our cowherd earlier plus they must have a flawless individual performance record including BW, WW, YW and carcass traits. These females also have to be out of what we would call a “proven sire”. Note: The stringent culling process that our donors have been through should cause our customers to take a good hard look at the ET calves that sell every year.
SIRE SELECTION: Our sire selection is done through wearing the tires off of our vehicle touring seed stock and commercial herds that have used high accuracy sires that have progeny on the ground and in production. Unlike our females, the sires have to posses curve bending, genomically enhanced EPD’s with progeny above average in carcass, ADG and many other performance traits while also adhering to our conformation and structure criteria. Note: a proven sire does not always mean that a bull carries high accuracy EPD’s but that the overwhelming number of progeny have displayed the correct type of females and good breeding bull characteristics phenotypically. Bringing the two genetic qualifications of our sires and dams together is why you would select a Crump Red Angus bull Lots 1-100.
We believe every bull all the way through to the end of our sale possesses great genetic merit despite his actual performance and we encourage you to do your bull selecting similar to how we select our females. We encourage customers to keep in mind where they are trying to take the over all visual phenotype of their cowherd while selecting within sire groups that fit their program. We believe that this combination of genetics gives our customers a profitable advantage not just in pounds at weaning but also convenience traits and replacement heifer conformation that will bring reputation replacement price thus hitting all the key points in profitability - getting steers to market.