Herd Bull Genetics

Rhino’s Beef™ Herd Bull Genetics

Our two Black Angus herd bulls: Doc and Little Boy, serve as the foundation for our grass fed beef operation.  Both of these bulls have grass-fed-sire qualities uncommonly found in the global Angus population.

We particularly look for our bulls to enhance in their calves these genetic traits:  overall efficiency, efficiency on grass, calving ease, meat tenderness, and docility.

Doc’s combination of scores on genetic tests for maternal calving ease, docility and meat tenderness have been found in fewer than 1.1% of all the bulls in the global Angus database.  Little Boy scored even higher on these three tests.  Only one in 1,700  bulls in the global Angus database matched Little Boy’s scores on these genetic tests.

Astoundingly, the chances of drawing two bulls at random from the global Angus database that combine with this high of scores on these three tests is 1 in 158,793  (See The Numbers.)

If we were able to include a ranking for “efficiency on grass”, which must be parsed from MVP scores, the odds against drawing two random bulls that equal Doc and Little Boy would be astronomical (again, see The Numbers).

Suffice it to say, we are confident you will be satisfied with the progeny of Doc and Little Boy, on your table or in your pasture.

Longevity

Selecting for Grass Fed Beef Genetics

Failure to breed and failure to rebreed lead the list of problems we strive to avoid (once again, The Numbers).  Our own records confirm Dr. Williams’  conclusion that a cow doesn’t break even on her investment until her fifth calf, even for our efficiency-focused grass-fed operation.

Selecting for Grass Fed Beef Genetics by Allen Williams, PhD, asserts that the  potential for longevity is the primary consideration in selecting grass fed herd cows.

Quoting from Dr. Williams:  “The first thing to consider–What are the traits that make a beef cow functional and profitable?  Data collected within the National IRM/SPA program, from beef cattle operations in many regions of the U.S., showed that the average beef cow has an average of 4.2 calves in her lifetime before she is culled. This includes heifers that fail to breed, first calf heifers that fail to rebreed, and cows culled for bad udders, etc. However, the same data also revealed that the average beef cow in the U.S. does not break even on her investment until her fifth calf. Therefore, the average cow never makes any money. So the most important trait to the beef cattle producer is longevity. The cow has to last long enough in the herd to generate a solid return on investment. The real money is made from the sixth calf and beyond. Therefore, cows need to last well into their teens for optimum profitability.”

Our cows regularly produce calves well into their teen years.  That’s what they do.  On top of that, their calves have the genetic characteristics to build a grass-fed herd around.

Additionally, Doc and Little Boy have been genetically tested and confirmed free of the genetic defects sometimes seen in Black Angus cattle:  Arthrogryposis Multiplex (AM), Contractural Arachnodactyly (CA), Developmental Duplication (DD) and Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH).  There has never been  any sign of any of these defects in our herd.