In any cattle farming enterprise, fertility is the most important economic factor. Fertility is five times more important than growth performance, which is then five times more important than carcass quality, because having a poorer performing calf is better than having no calf at all.
In order for livestock farmers to take care of their cattle, they need to ensure they have good veld and pasture. It is crucial that the animals’ nutritional requirements are met, especially when cows are raising calves, and during breeding time. The farmer’s fodder flow should also be sufficient all year round in order to fully feed the cattle in a relatively short period of time.
Management and genetics
Fertility is made up of two main components, namely management and genetics. The management component covers everything from correct feeding to maintaining good animal health. This is entirely the responsibility of the farmer.
Implementing and maintaining strict breeding seasons also helps establish which animals are not reproducing. This also makes it easier for veterinarians to determine which cows are not concieving. Good management ensures that animals are producing and reproducing optimally.
The genetic component is a bit more challenging, so it is important to identify the cow families that calve every year, in order to repeat the result.
When it comes to breeding values, it is best to select the genetic traits that are positively correlated with fertility, for example scrotal size, mature body mass and the fertility index. These all make up the estimated breeding values (EBVs).
Do however keep in mind that you cannot select higher fertility on a genetic level if the animal’s nutrition and general health requirements are not met.
Bulls have 50% genetic influence on the herd of cows he gets into calf. When buying a bull, selecting a bull with good fertility and growth attribute is crucial to success, because as the saying goes, ‘A good bull is half your herd and a bad bull is your whole herd.’
Read more here: https://bit.ly/2KnL5gJ