Tools for genetic improvement of maternal traits in beef cattle

M. P. Coffey*, T. Roughsedge, G. Simm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Genetic improvement of beef cattle is an important tool for improving profitability and sustainability. Until recently there has been little emphasis in the UK on developing tools for genetic improvement of maternal traits in beef cattle, largely as a result of the historical importance of beef x dairy suckler cows. However, new tools for genetically improving maternal performance have been launched recently. This paper provides an overview of the process of performance recording and genetic evaluation, discussing the particular issues in developing evaluations for maternal traits and their incorporation into overall indices, and introduces new tools of this sort that are now available via MLC's Signet Breeding Services, to assist genetic improvement of maternal traits in beef cattle. These tools comprise four new estimated breeding values: Age at first Calving, Calving Interval, Longevity and Maternal Calving Ease, and two new maternal indexes: Maternal Value and Maternal Production Value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalCattle Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Beef cattle
  • Estimated breeding values
  • Genetic improvement
  • Maternal traits


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