Beef breeding values
NAV breeding values for beef bulls (AI and private) and cows can be used by beef breeders to select parents for next generation of calves. NAV beef evaluation includes five breeds (Aberdeen Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Limousin and Simmental). Seven subindices and 18 single breeding values can be published for each bull and cow if the publication rules are fulfilled.
Nine new breeds (Blonde d’Aquitaine, Danish Blue Cattle, Dexter, Galloway, Grauvieh, Highland Cattle, Piemontes, Salers, Shorthorn (beef)) were included in the NAV beef evaluation in November 2023. In the beginning, only breeding values for single traits are published for the new breeds.
The traits included in the Nordic genetic evaluation for pure beef are to a large extent the same that have been published previously in each country. However, there are changes. The traits are introduced below. Some traits are important themselves while others are used to increase reliability because they have a genetic correlation to the important traits.
- Calf survival and calving ease, 1st and later calvings, respectively (direct/maternal)
- Calf survival within the first 24 hours after calving
- Evaluation of the calving ease compared to other calving’s in the herd
- Birth weight (direct/maternal)
- Has a favorable connection to growth rate and an unfavorable to calf ability to be born
- Weaning weight gain (direct/maternal)
- Weight gain from birth to weaning. Expresses both the calf ability to grow and the dam ability to take care of the calf
- Yearling weight (direct/maternal)
- Expresses both the calf ability to grow and the dam ability to take care of the calf
- Post-weaning gain
- Weight gain from weaning to yearling. Expresses the calf ability to grow
- Daily carcass gain
- Weight gain from birth to slaughter. Expresses mainly the calf ability to grow but also to some extent the dam ability to take care of the calf
- Carcass conformation score
- Classification of the carcass on the EUROP scale at the slaughterhouse
- Carcass fat score
- Classification of external fat dressing of the carcass at the slaughterhouse
Single traits are combined into seven subindices with breed specific weights.
- Production includes subindices Growth and Slaughter quality.
- Growth includes breeding values for daily carcass gain and yearling weight – direct.
- Slaughter quality includes breeding values for carcass fat score and carcass conformation score.
- Dam includes subindices Calving and Milk.
- Calving includes breeding values for
- Calving ease, maternal, 1st
- Calving ease, maternal, 2+ calv.
- Calf survival, maternal, 1st
- Calf survival, maternal, 2+ calv.
- Milk includes breeding value weaning weight gain – maternal.
- Birth includes breeding values for
- Calving ease, direct, 1st
- Calving ease, direct, 2+ calv.
- Calf survival, direct, 1st
- Calf survival, direct, 2+ calv.
Breed specific weights are presented in a document NAV pure beef breeding values: Breed specific weights for subindices.
NAV beef breeding values are standardized to an average breeding value of 100 and a standard deviation of 10. Breeding values for an animal are published if it has a reliability above 10 % or has an observation for that particular trait or at least 5 offspring. These rules apply for each single trait. For breeds where indices are calculated across Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the base is a mix of males and females from the three countries, which are born 5-9 years before the publication date and have a minimum reliability. The genetic base has an average on 100. Beef breeding values are published four times a year (March, April, June and November).
NAV beef breeding values were published for the first time 2nd of November 2021. The newest results can be viewed at the web page NAV Beef Search. The search page contains all publishable breeding values and other relevant information for the bulls and cows included in the evaluation. Breed must be chosen but all other search parameters are optional. It is possible to set the search criteria to create top lists of your preference and to search for individual animals or their progeny.