The criteria for making the list are as follows:
A yes in this column indicates that the bull was progeny tested through the Gene Ireland maternal progeny test programme.
This is a programme where the ICBF contacts beef farmers and co-ordinates the distribution of the semen and collection of data on those bulls’ daughters.
This programme results in bulls’ receiving extremely accurate evaluations without excessive amounts of semen having to be dispatched while they are still genetically unproven.
1 Bull details: Rank, AI code, name, breed, Gene Irl.
2 Replacement or terminal index: This is the overall single figure profit index each bull has. A bull with a replacement index of €200 is expected to sire daughters that are €200 more profitable than the average Irish suckler cow. Likewise, for the terminal index, it is an indication of how profitable a bull’s progeny will be when slaughtered.
3 Reliability percentage: This figure is an indication of how confident the ICBF can be about the genetic evaluations for a particular bull. Progeny of a bull having data recorded on them (calving survey, weights, etc) alongside lots of other animals, across large numbers of herds is what increases a bull’s reliability percentage figure. The reliability % figures for AI sires are generally higher than that of stock bulls, due to the large number of calves across many herds that they would sire.
4 Stars across: This shows the percentile ranking of the bulls index when compared across breed (five stars: top 20%, one star: bottom 20%).
5 Calving difficulty details: This is the first active bull list with the new calving indices.
6 Gest (days) and gest (rel %): This shows the expected effect on gestation length that the bull will have. The smaller and more negative the breeding value figure, the better.
7 Daughter milk: Daughter milk is the expected level of milk that daughters of a bull will have. It is expressed in terms of the weight gain in kilograms from the progeny of those daughters (high values desired).
8 Daughter calving interval: Daughter calving interval is a key measurement of fertility in a bull’s daughters. It is measured in terms of calving interval – (negative and low values desired).
9 Carcase weight and carcase conformation: This shows the extra kilograms of carcase and increased conformation that is expected from the progeny of each bull.
10 Semen details: Availability, price and supplier details of each bull are included.
The actual €uro-Stars just make the €uro index values visually easy to understand. The €uro-Stars show where the animal’s genetic index ranks (top 20%, bottom 20%, etc).
The dairy beef index (DBI) is a tool to produce quality beef cattle from the dairy herd which have both desirable calving attributes for the dairy herd (ie easy calving and short gestation) and valuable carcase merit attributes for the finisher.
It does this by ranking beef cattle for use in the dairy herd based on their genetic merit for several traits that are important to dairy-beef production systems (ie calving and beef traits).
So the DBI selects for:
Using a bull only for his ‘easy calving’ or ‘short gestation’ can result in lighter carcases. However, incorporating several traits into selection decisions using an overall index (DBI) can produce more balanced cattle with more favourable economic returns.