It’s quite simple, no one buys dead calves. You don’t want to buy a bull that causes calving difficulty, and we don’t want to sell you one. Flying H Genetics utilizes every tool available to identify and eliminate hard-calving bulls and guarantees every bull we sell to not cause above-normal calving difficulty due to genetics.
Things like breech births and abnormal presentations create calving problems but are not caused by genetics.
Flying H Genetics also identifies and guarantees some bulls for use on virgin heifers. Bulls not identified as 3, 4 or 5 star Heifer Bulls or Show Me Select are not guaranteed for use on heifers. Although there are 15 factors that can contribute to calving difficulty, birth weight or calf size is the most common cause.
Today, the best way to select for acceptable calving ease is to utilize the Calving Ease EPD. This EPD is better to use than either the Birth Weight EPD or the Actual Birth Weight because it utilizes actual calving data in calculating its ratio. At Flying H Genetics we also incorporate visual appraisal and environmental influences in our analysis.
Remember, there are two components to calf birth weights—genetic and environmental.
- When we talk about the genetic influence on calving ease—and specifically birth weights—we know we cannot be 100% accurate in our selections. But, with all the data and research and tools available, our accuracy is above 99%. So, for the less than 1%, we cover them with our Calving Ease Guarantee! And we need to remember that the cow has more influence on the birth weight of her calf than the bull does. She has the same influence from her genetics for birth weight, but she has the added “maternal” influence that the bull does not. Some cows’ influence may overpower the bull’s genetics—some cows have big calves no matter what bull is used.
- The environmental influence on birth weight is even greater than the combined genetic influence of both the bull and the cow. Birth weight is estimated to be 44% heritable (genetic), which means 56% is influenced by other or environmental effects (the age of the dam, sex of the calf, temperature during the last 30 dates of gestation, nutrition and percentage of protein in the diet, condition of the cow, etc.). There are many things that affect the birth weight of each individual calf. The only constant is their sire, and that is why the genetics of the sire are so important to calving ease. But, his genetics are not the only influence so one big calf is probably not the fault of the bull. Several big calves means there is a problem, and it could be the bull.That’s where Flying H Genetics steps up and helps our customers determine the cause of the calving problem. If it is the bull, he is eliminated and replaced with one of equal quality and value that does not cause calving problems.
If you want guaranteed calving ease on every bull you buy, Flying H Genetics is your partner for profits.