Red Angus Association

Calving Ease Direct (CED) - predicts the probability of calves being born unassisted out of 2-year-old heifers. Producers want live calves - born unassisted. Selecting on actual birth weight is flawed; it is influenced by non-genetic factors such as nutrition and weather (ambient temperature). While BW EPD removes these non-genetic factors, Red Angus' CED EPD is the best predictor of calving ease. The CED EPD includes variation in BW plus other influential genetic factors such as gestation length, calf shape, etc.

Heifer Pregnancy (HPG) - predicts the probability of heifers conceiving to calve at two years of age. Many breeds offer genetic predictions of yearling bull scrotal circumference as an indicator of age of puberty. While puberty is a prerequisite, many factors influence pregnancy rate. Red Angus' HPG EPD offers a tool which selects for what is economically relevant to ranchers - pregnant heifers.

Calving Ease Maternal (CEM) - predicts the probability of a given animal's daughters calving unassisted at two years of age. Replacement heifers should be able to calve on their own. Red Angus' CEM EPD offers the industry's most reliable prediction to address that concern. It includes not only the predisposition for a female to calve unassisted, but also her contribution to her calf's traits (birth weight, calf shape, etc.) that make it more likely to be born unassisted.

Maintenance Energy (ME) - predicts differences in daughters' maintenance energy requirements and is expressed in Mcal/Month. Recognizing that 70% of cow herd feed costs are burned up in maintaining weight and condition, Red Angus' ME EPD allows for the selection of bulls whose daughters will require less feed; thus, reducing cowherd expenses. Include selection pressure for ME EPD to ensure feed costs don't get out of line when selection is made for greater performance and production.

Birth Weight EPD (BW) predicts the difference, in pounds, for birth weight, and is also used in the calculation of Red Angus' Calving Ease Direct (CED) EPD.

Weaning Weight EPD (WW) predicts the difference, in pounds, for weaning weight (adjusted to age of dam and a standard 205 days of age). This is an indicator of growth from birth to weaning.

Yearling Weight EPD (YW) predicts the expected difference, in pounds, for yearling weight (adjusted to a standard 365 days of age). This is an indicator of growth from birth to yearling.

Milk EPD (MILK) predicts the difference in maternal production of an individual animal's daughters as expressed by the weaning weight of their calves.

Total Maternal EPD (TM) predicts the rancher's actual observation of weaning weights of calves raised by an animal's daughters. TM includes the daughter's milk EPD plus half of her genetic contribution to her calf's weaning weight EPD. The formula for TM EPD is: TM EPD = Milk

Marbling Score (MARB) predicts differences for carcass marbling score as expressed in marbling score units. Higher marbling scores are positively correlated with higher carcass quality grades.

Yield Grade (YG) predicts differences in USDA Yield Grade score, and is expressed in USDA Yield Grade units. YG EPD is calculated using the genetic predictions of CW, REA and FAT EPDs.

YG EPD is enhanced by using both ultrasound and actual carcass data in the calculation of REA and FAT EPDs.

Carcass Weight (CW) predicts differences in hot carcass weight and is expressed in pounds. Because Red Angus' CW EPD is a multi-trait model which includes birth, weaning, and yearling weight data, the prediction is not subject to culling bias. Thus, it provides a more reliable EPD as compared to only using actual carcass weights. This computation allows for the use of weights taken on ~57,000 animals per year as compared to only ~1,500 animals per year with actual carcass weight observations. Increased Carcass Weight tends to detrimentally affect Yield Grade; the calculation of which also includes Rib Eye Area and Fat Thickness.

Rib Eye Area (REA) predicts differences of carcass Rib Eye Area between the 12th and 13th rib. Increased Rib Eye Area has a beneficial effect on Yield Grade which also includes Carcass Weight and Fat Thickness.

12th Rib Fat Thickness (FAT) predicts differences for carcass fat depth over the 12th rib, as expressed in inches. Increases in fat thickness has a detrimental effect on Yield Grade.

Beef Value ($B), an index value expressed in dollars per head, is the expected average difference in future progeny performance for postweaning and carcass value compared to progeny of other sires.

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