Why is the Limousin Society so intent on addressing fertility figures?

Fertility is responsible for 60% of you’re herd’s performance!!

Growth is responsible for 25%, birth weight 10% and carcase traits only 5%.

The relative economic values pertaining to extensive beef production are as follows:

●  Reproduction (fertility): 10
●  Production (weight/growth): 2
●  Product (carcase): 1

It is obvious where the emphasis should lie!

Remember, birth notifications are the lifeblood of your Society and determine its success or failure!

Why is fertility responsible for such a vast amount of your herd’s performance?

The answer is simple: only well adapted cows will calve regularly. Cows can however only be adaptable if they are functionally efficient in their environment i.e. good legs, medium frame size, smooth hair coat, hardy, etc.

When you select for fertility you are also indirectly selecting for structural soundness!!!

AND if we select for cows that wean a live calf every year we are then also selecting for mothering ability, udder quality, milk properties and much more!! This makes the selection process so much simpler.

How do you select for fertility?

The first step is to ensure that all your animals meet the Limousin Society’s minimum fertility requirements.

These requirements as they currently stand (according to the Constitution):

●  Age First Calf (AFC): 39 months
●  Inter Calving Period (ICP): 640 days
●  Days Last Calf (DLC): 640 days

(Jan 2008)

(These standards will be implemented to all animals calving as of January 1st, 2008)

It is important to note that these are the minimum standards and your animals should fall far below these figures in order to be considered having “good fertility”. Ideally heifers should calve before 39 months of age and the average ICP and DLC fall around 400days. If you achieve this then you can really consider your herd as “highly fertile”. This is the SA Limousin Society’s first priority.

Another very useful tool in selecting for fertility is BREEDPLAN’s Estimated Breeding Values (EBV’s) e.g. Days to Calving, Gestation Length (to be introduced) and Scrotal Circumference. These are reliable, statistical indications of the breeding and reproduction potential of your animals. The use of these values in your breeding program can lead to vast improvements in your herd’s genetics. Contact Breedplan to learn more.

 

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