Holiday Ranch
Breeder of South Poll Grass Cattle

Evaluating replacement heifers with DNA

How do we at Holiday Ranch evaluate which heifers to keep?  Let me tell you, it is a very arduous process.

As stated in our previous post, our Missouri partner, Bruce Shanks, has previously evaluated these heifers visually for multiple traits.  The very best have been selected to come to Florida to be developed and bred.

pull tail hair from switch for DNA sampling

Another tool we use to further evaluate these heifers is DNA.  By submitting hair samples on each heifer we are provided a report giving a numeric score of 1 to 10 for a number of traits.

Here are the Igenity results on a randomly selected heifer:

Average Daily Gain = 6

Tenderness = 7

Percent Choice  = 5

Stayability (longevity)  = 6

Maternal calving ease  = 5

The jury is still out on how much emphasis to place on DNA.  We believe DNA has the potential to add value to the herd, so we will continue to test our animals.

DNA is simply another tool we use to be combined with multiple other evaluations.

Remember to visit our partner, Bruce Shanks, of Sassafras Valley Ranch.

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