In mid-July, the American Angus Association released two indexes designed as specific crossbreeding tools for Angus bulls being mated to dairy cows. Angus-On-Dairy $Value indexes are an estimate of how future beef x dairy (BxD) progeny of each Angus sire are expected to perform, on average. This is compared to BxD progeny of other Angus sires, if the sires were randomly mated and calves were exposed to the same environment.
“These Angus-on-Dairy indexes where developed to help Angus breeders who have Angus cattle identify those that may be better for use on Holstein or Jersey cattle,” said Select Sires Vice President of Beef Program and Product Manager, Brian House. “The Angus breed felt like there was a need for this. I am glad they did it and I think these will be very useful tools for our customers.”
Two very similar, but not identical, indexes have been developed for dairy producers: Angus-On-Holstein ($AxH) index and Angus-On-Jersey ($AxJ) index to help identify the most profitable Angus sires for each breed for future end marketing.
Each index comprises several genetic traits weighted by the appropriated economics to serve this terminal BxD sector including: calving ease, growth from birth through the feeding phase, feed intake, dressing percent, yield grade, quality grade, muscling and height (only included in $AxH).
“One of the things that sets the Holstein index apart from indexes we’ve previously used on beef cattle is that there is a height component. Bulls who are too tall are penalized. Select Sires Beef has selected some bulls for beef-on-dairy who are smaller, yet still growthy, high carcass trait bulls who have some muscle,” said Brian.
“In the Jersey index in particular,” said Brian, “they put a little more emphasis on muscle because in that cross, those cattle appear to need a little more muscle influence from the Angus genetics to help those Jersey cattle hit the targets they are supposed to hit.”
Brian added, “A lot of bulls that we already have in our Select Sires lineup as beef-on-dairy bulls are high for these index scores and look good. It’s a good thing that we know that we are helping our customers travel down the right road.”
To sort Angus bulls for these indexes, you can visit the American Angus Association here.
For more information about how these indexes were developed, click here to view a presentation by Dr. Stephen Miller at the 2020 Beed Improvement Federation meeting.
Stay tuned for more information to come from All West and Select Sires regarding BxD in the coming months!