The value of genetics in achieving maximum sustainable profit can not be exaggerated, yet cattlemen and animal scientists everywhere are trivializing and perverting the value of veld productive genotypes.
Highly veld productive individuals occur in many, if not most, commercial herds. They are staring us in the face, but are not being recognised and valued for what they are.
Pictured above are examples of the type of cattle that show judges and breed inspectors, on behalf of breed associations, recommend that all cattlemen should be breeding. I would like to think that most cattlemen are not so gullible as to believe them. Unfortunately, it looks as though I am wrong.
Shown above are the fertility figures of the dam of a pedigree (SP = Stud Proper) bull passed by “experts” for sale at an elite auction.
How is it possible for an “expert” in the field of cattle breeding to put a stamp of approval on a bull whose mother had her first calf at the age of 7 years with a 3 year ICP to produce her 2nd calf at the age of 10 years ?
Surely this is perverse. The sale of such a bull must be viewed as fraud.
The proponents of “modern and scientific breeding” would argue that they select according to performance figures. What value do these figures have if they are inappropriate and require a modern day sorcerer to juggle around in an attempt to create a picture out of so much conflicting detail
The top cow calved at 2 years of age under UHDG (Eckart Beneke, South African sourveld). She reconceived and will deliver her 2nd calf at the age of 3 years.
The bottom cow, under the same management, first calved at 3 years and will produce her 2nd calf at 4 and a 1/2 years.
Consider the following:
- Both cows are in the same herd under the same management. The difference in their performance is solely due to genetics.
- Do we need an “expert” or computer generated figures to indicate to us which is the best genotype?
The best genetics that can possibly be acquired are staring us in the face.
Is it not fair to say that we should actually put on blinkers (prevent us looking at the side shows) in order to see what is in front of us?