Pasture monitoring of herd and calf growth as well as herd management
For the right understanding of the growth of an animal, it is necessary to obtain a weight for certain reference ages such as calving, 3-4 months of age, weaning age or entering the breeding age. These reference ages are predefined and characterize certain identified and standardized phases of development.
The priority and mandatory weights for Angus calves are those obtained at the ages of 7 months and 12 months when vaccinations will be performed. The weight at the age of 7 months allows the comparison of animals with each other through the average daily gain helping the farmer to select as accurately as possible the best-performing animals, but also to select the animals from among the mothers that will be sent for reform. Equally important is the weight at 12 months which indicates – also through the average daily gain – the evolution of the animal after weaning. Due to the fact that the Angus breed is an early breed and the breeding age of calves starts at 15 months, the weight at 12 months helps to select animals ready for the mounting.
Weighing and evaluation of Angus cattle at different stages of their development aims to know the real productive potential of the animals, a potential that underlies the selection and use in the breeding process of the most valuable specimens, in order to improve the productive potential of the cattle herd these investigations are being carried out for. The result of the control completed with data on origin, conformation and constitution, body development, productive type and reproductive skills are used to determine the zootechnical quality of the animals and are the basic elements in the works of selection that include grading, testing their performance and that of the offspring with the subsequent registration of valuable animals in the genealogical register of the breed. These values are entered in our Stockbook management program and allow the ranking of animals and the estimation of the improvement value of each animal.
It is recommended:
- Weighing beef cattle constantly and regularly
- Calculating the evolution of their performance at different youth ages
- Genetic evaluation of cattle based on the evolution of the average daily gain at different ages
The main objectives of cattle weighing and evaluation are:
- Genetic evaluation and ranking of livestock according to the results obtained after the control
- Increasing revenues by improving farm management through the use of technical reports, but also by developing infrastructures and conditions for raising cattle
- Broadening the selection base, estimating improvement values
For a good development of the periodic process of weighing the animals, it is important to organize minimum facilities on each plot where there is a larger batch of cattle. Equipment for containing and guiding the animals is required to prepare the cattle in advance.