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British Columbia


Welcome to our latest edition of The Hereford Influence. BC Hereford breeders are looking forward to the anticipated expansion of the North American cow herd. Like all members of the BC cattle fraternity, it has been a struggle the past 10 years to remain optimistic in a shrinking industry. Starting with BSE and then with the COOL regulations, we have seen a drop in number of members and our customers. As the market recovers, the shining ray in all this misery is that only the dedicated breeders are left to pick up the pieces and these breeders have kept only the best cattle to rebuild with. There is no fat to trim from these outfits. They have come through the lean times with good useful cattle herds. Technology continues to expand in leaps and bounds and our world gets smaller all the time. We still use ultrasound to measure rib eye and marbling so we know what’s under the hide but now we are using RFID Tags and computers to measure feed efficiency to decrease both our own and our customers’ feed bills. Canada has built alliances with the American, Uruguay and Argentina Hereford Associations in order to share in research and development costs of the genomic projects coming down the pipe. These four countries jointly compare all our performance data to create the Pan American Genetic Evaluation which gives us Expected Progeny Differences that can compare animals not only in different herds but now in different countries. Look closely at the breeders’ programs listed in this pamphlet. These are not your grandpa’s Herefords, these are different. We have the genetic trend graphs to prove the changes made in the last 25 years. When you’re looking for a bull this spring, look at the Herefords. These are bulls designed to be the cornerstone of any commercial beef program in BC and we have made these changes without sacrificing the ruggedness, docility and efficiencies the breed is famous for around the world.

BCHA Executive Committee President & CHA Director Daryl Kirton, Abbotsford Ph(604)856-5755 Cell(604)855-2287 Email:

Secretary Janice Tapp, Fraser Lake Ph(250)699-6466 Email:

Vice President Murray Gore, Surrey Ph(604)951-2306 Email:

Treasurer Vic Redekop, Aldergrove Ph(604)856-7279 Cell(604)614-2277 Email:

BCHA Directors Greg Peters, Langley Ph (604)514-5949

Maureen Ziemer, Lumby Ph/Fax (250)547-6394

Phil Brown, Princeton Ph (250)293-6857

John Lewis, Courtenay Ph (250)334-3252

Harvey Halvorson, Brackendale Ph (604)898-3072

Keith Bostock, Salmon Arm Ph (250)832-2779

Bob Gowans, Kamloops Ph (250)573-4088 Faxl (250)573-4054

Don Richardson, Tlell Ph (250)557-4348 Fax (250)557-4468

Club Contacts Yellowhead Hereford Club Secretary: Janice Tapp Ph (250)699-6466 Email

Thompson Valley Hereford Club Secretary: Joan O’Brien Ph (250)835-0104 Email

West Coast Hereford Club Secretary: Harvey Krause Ph (604)856-6940 Email

*** Design and production by *** Jamie Richardson, Janice Tapp & Don Richardson 3

Residual Feed Intake Research Project "Use of Genomic Tools to Improve Feed Efficiency in Purebred Hereford Cattle" The RFI research project is a three – year collaboration between the Canadian Hereford Association (CHA), Olds College, Cattleland Feed Yards, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, University of Alberta and Livestock Gentec. It is funded through the “Idea to Innovation Program”, Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC), and participating Hereford breeders. Beginning in the fall of 2012, and over the next three years, the CHA will assist researchers in measuring 900 Hereford bulls for residual feed efficiency (RFI). The goal of the project is to produce a Residual Feed Intake (RFI) EPD. The CHA is working with Dr. John Basarab, senior research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and adjunct professor at the University of Alberta. Dr. Basarab is a world renowned researcher in the field of feed efficiency. Trial 1 consisting of 200 bulls finished the test in late January 2013 and 100 more bulls (Trial 2) were finished by mid-April 2013. Trial 3 has another 200 bulls on test at Cattlelands and Olds College and will wrap up at the end of January 2014. Trial 4 bulls will have another 100 bulls finishing the test in April of 2014. The interest by breeders has been fantastic and the data collected so far has been very interesting and supportive of the Hereford reputation for excellent feed efficiency. If you are a Hereford breeder who wishes to contribute bulls to Trial 5 or Trial 6 set for the winter of 2014-15, please contact the CHA office for more information. Residual Feed Intake (RFI) is a measure of feed efficiency but is adjusted to account for differences in body weight, body fat composition and rate of gain. The average for a group of animals is set at zero. Negative numbers mean that an animal is MORE efficient. For example, an RFI of -2 means that animal ate 2 lbs less of dry matter per day compared to the average animal in the group after they have all been adjusted to the same body weight, fat cover and rate of gain! Over the course of a year this animal would eat 730 lbs less for same rate of gain! Data from Trial One and Trial Two showed that the average Hereford Bull was eating 18 lb of dry matter per day but the most efficient animals consumed 20% less and the least efficient ate 20% more. Again, this was after accounting for differences in body weight, fat composition and rate of gain. RFI is a highly heritable trait with 40% of the difference due to genetics. This is very similar to the heritability of weaning weight. Selection for RFI will rapidly reduce maintenance costs in your herd. A second important consideration when selecting for RFI is not only how feed efficient you can make your cow herd but also you must balance that with rate of gain of the offspring destined for the feeder market. Residual Intake and Gain (RIG) is calculated as an index that combines RFI and Average Daily Gain. It adjusts for body weight, body fat composition and the feed intake to allow for direct comparisons between animals in the same group. The more positive the number, the better feeder the animal will be as RIG selects for a balanced feed efficiency and rate of gain after weaning. When the trial ends in 2015 the CHA will have collected enough data to allow the scientists to develop the programming needed to create an EPD for Feed Efficiency in Canadian Hereford cattle. These EPDs will be published for your cattle due to their pedigree connection to the test animals as well as the correlations discovered between the Feed Efficiency trait and other traits you measure in your cattle. The genomic research being done on these test bulls at the same time, will also allow breeders to use DNA samples from their calves to further genomically enhance the accuracy of their calves EPD for Feed Efficiency. References; Canadian Hereford Association web site Bar Pipe Hereford Ranch 2013/2014 Winter Sale catalogue



A Rancher's Guide to Genomics By Gayle Smith of Tri-State Livestock News The added value of genomic information to expected progeny differences (EPDs) in beef cattle may produce more accurate EPDs, especially in young, unproven bulls. The evolution of genomic information isn't designed to replace EPDs, but will make EPDs more accurate says Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska beef geneticist. Spangler discussed the implementation of marker-assisted EPDs during the 2011 Range Beef Cow Symposium in Mitchell, NE. His take-home message to seedstock producers was to continue to collect and routinely record phenotypic information, even if they collect genomic data. "If you are a seedstock producer, you still need to weigh your calves at birth," he says. "Genomic technology only makes these tools stronger; it does not replace them." Spangler says he sees genomic predictions being particularly valuable to seedstock producers with young, unproven bulls. Before genomics were available, producers used EPDs to select a sire and wait for his offspring to be born to improve the accuracy o f his traits. "Genomics and the corresponding marker-assisted or genomic-enhanced EPD, have become a reality," Spangler explains. "Within a breed, genomic predictions based on 50K genotypes have proven to add accuracy for several traits, particularly to young bulls." The problem with genomic testing, Spangler says, is it tends to be breed specific. "If a test was developed for Angus, it will work best for Angus cattle. The test will not be as accurate if it is used in other breeds. An Angus test used on Charolais will not work as well, and you will be really disappointed if you use it in Bos indicus cattle," he explains. Spangler highlights a study where the application of a 50K-based genomic prediction test developed for Angus was used on closely-related Red Angus. The results showed a substantial amount of variation, and were deemed inaccurate, he says. The American Angus Association (AAA) leads the pack in developing and providing this genomic technology for their members, Spangler says. AAA currently focuses on correlated traits, which means developing genomic information and correlating that data to the trait of interest, such as weaning weight. The American Hereford Association (AHA) is also in the forefront of utilizing this new technology by working to develop a database of genomic information for their members. AHA focuses on blending genomic information with an index of EPDs currently available. A third option of implementing this technology, which is currently used by the dairy industry, is the genomic relationship. Markers are used to help supplement pedigree information. No relationships are based on genomic information, he says. "In order to do that, the industry would have to have access to those genotypes."


Spangler tells producers if their breed association isn't looking into how to develop genomic information specific to their breed, he would be very concerned about the long-term viability of the breed. "Genomics work, but how well it works is the question," Spangler says. "The adoption of this technology follows the breeding pyramid. Unfortunately, it isn't as well accepted in beef cattle as it is in other species, like swine and poultry." Genomics were originally developed to help researchers pinpoint genetic defects like marble bone. Before genomic testing was available, Spangler says animals were purged based on their pedigree. "We can now use genetic testing to pick out the carriers and determine what to do with them," he explains. "Without this testing, some breeds would have been decimated in the past few years." Genomic testing has also been used as parentage testing to ensure animals have the correct pedigree, but has now evolved into collecting data for complex traits, which are traits controlled by numerous genes that impact EPDs. "When genomics first came into the marketplace, bull sale catalogs were filled with a plethora of information," Spangler says. "A lot of that information was useless, because the ratios, EPDs and accuracy were too low." For breeds like Angus, who have developed a test for their specific breed, a DNA sample can be collected and sent to the breed association. The breed association sends the sample to a genetic lab for evaluation, and that data is sent back to the breed association, where it is incorporated into a database to produce genomic-assisted EPDs. Nucleus breeders that produce seedstock for other seedstock operators need to be the first to implement genomic information into their programs, Spangler says. "Within each breed, the nucleus population is what drives genetic change," Spangler explains. "Seedstock producers can utilize this information to make genetic change quicker. They can use fewer animals because they have more accurate data and more confidence in the animals they use." Spangler also sees the use of genomic information being useful to commercial cattlemen in evaluating nearly identical yearling bulls. If additional genomic information is available that shows one bull has a calving ease of +11, while the other is -2, that producer could have made a serious mistake without genomic-enhanced additional information, he adds. This technology can really be useful in younger animals that don't have much EPD data available. Spangler says he sees genomic information expanding in the future to not only improve accuracy of EPDs, but also identify more complex traits. Data may soon be available for disease susceptibility, feed efficiency, adaptation, reproduction and environmental traits. "We need phenotypes to be able to develop these tests," he explains. "We also need to be able to validate the data before we can use it. Collective phenotypes are critical for this to happen." Spangler says genomic testing will also continue to be developed and used to identify genetic defects in cattle. "There are many more genetic defects out there," he says. "We just haven't identified them all yet." 7



EPDs…….The Importance of Accuracy Use the accuracy values to assess risk when making selection decisions based on EPDs. EPD stands for Expected Progeny Difference. Essentially an EPD is a prediction of the genetic worth of an animal for a particular trait. As such, there is an inherent amount of uncertainty with the prediction of an EPD for any particular animal. This uncertainty is influenced by several factors such as the number of individual and progeny records available for the animal, the distribution of these records across herds, the heritability of the trait being evaluated and its correlation with other traits being measured. Consider the similarity between a weather forecast and an EPD… Just like a weather forecast based only on satellite photos, wind and humidity gauges, the weatherman predicts a 30% chance of rain. Most of us wouldn’t be breaking out the life jackets. But based on the limited information that’s available, the weatherman makes a prediction about what the weather’s going to do. Similarly, EPDs cannot be predicted without a certain amount of uncertainty because incomplete information is available for each animal in a population. However, the amount of uncertainty associated with each EPD prediction can be estimated and quantified to allow the user to understand the risk involved in making decisions based on the EPD. Just like a 30% chance of rain, the accuracy value for an EPD provides an assessment of the risk involved in using a particular animal’s EPD. Accuracy values range from 0.0 to 1.0 where values closer to 1 indicate that more information went into the prediction of the EPD; therefore, EPDs with accuracy values closer to one are more reliable. A completely or 100% accurate EPD will never be predicted for an animal - because an infinite amount of information will never be available. If it were, it would no longer be a prediction. However, as the information for an animal increases, (more records from parents, siblings, and its own progeny performance) its accuracy increases and the risk in using it decreases. The EPD moves farther away from being a prediction, and more closely reflects reality as the actual performance of that animal and its progeny are recorded. Naturally, there is greater risk in using young bulls because their accuracy values are lower than proven bulls. This does not mean that young bulls cannot be used in a program to make predictable genetic change. The research is clear that the EPD on a young animal is far superior compared to any other piece of information, including the within herd ratio or the animal’s own record, for predicting the transmitting ability of the animal. In fact, using EPDs to select for a trait rather than raw performance data will allow for seven times faster genetic progress in your herd. In the near future we will be using genomics to enhance the accuracy of young sires based on their DNA. The information that we can obtain from a calf's DNA is equivalent to adding 15 progeny to his data file which will significantly enhance the accuracy of a young animal’s EPD prediction. Conversely, for a proven sire which already has records from a hundred calves sired, the addition of fifteen more records will not significantly affect his EPD accuracy. The CHA expects to have Genetically Enhanced EPDs available for release with the Fall 2014 EPDs. Often, once a breeder understands the inherent risks involved in using EPDs, he/she becomes much more confident in their value as a selection tool. An EPD and its accuracy is very much like a judge and his eyes… if his eyesight’s poor, he won’t be very accurate and you shouldn’t put too much stock in what he tells you. Lastly, EPDs are a great selection tool but unfortunately they are often used as a marketing tool when they do not have the accuracy to support the claims being made! 10



Estrous Synchronization is the Cornerstone to Successful Artificial Insemination Programs Matthew I. Miller , Extension Agent, Farm Business Management, Southwest District

Much has been written in the popular press about the benefits of AI and yet less than 15% of cow calf operations use AI and most of those are seed stock breeders. Economic considerations illustrate the impact AI can have and perhaps in today’s marketing environment the argument for AI has grown stronger. One major consideration is that to utilize AI effectively and reap some of the economic benefits it must be coupled with an effective Estrus Synchronization (ES) protocol. Why? Solely using AI doesn’t allow for greater return on investment. If we assume that a producer will just utilize AI, it implies they will visually heat check over a period of days or weeks to achieve an acceptable level of pregnancy. That does not create the same “package” of calves that AI coupled with Estrus Synchronization allows. Estrus Synchronization is the manipulation of a group of cows so that their “heats” are tightly timed. Some protocols group cows to a few days while others may group to a few hours. Estrus Synchronization allows producers to concentrate labor resources and attention to a tighter breeding window and focus their efforts to achieve the highest percentage of cows in heat during any set period of time. It is a misnomer to use AI as a justification for economic gains, a more accurate statement is the ES and AI coupled together allows for greater economic gains. When costs per pregnancy are examined in both an ES/AI system and a natural-service scenario, many factors must be considered. For example, conception percentage in the ES/AI system can vary greatly. If ES/AI performance is poor or below average, the costs per pregnancy in the AI system will certainly increase. Conversely, in the natural service scenario the purchase price and stocking rate fluctuates widely among operations and again will greatly impact the cost per pregnancy. Examining the added value of the calves produced through ES/AI, we first need to consider the increased age of the calf relative to a traditional natural service scenario. Research conducted at the University of Kentucky found evidence that commercial producers can find monetary gain from an ES/AI program implementation. The added age and tighter grouping of birth dates for the calves produced in the ES/AI system resulted in 109 more pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed. In today’s current market we could comfortably value that increased weight difference at approximately $165 per cow exposed. However, the value goes beyond the fact that these calves are heavier due to greater age at weaning. Intangibles that are hard to quantify is that producers have a specified due date on ES/AI bred cows. This is translated in a greater efficiency of labor for calving and increased calf survival from both the increased attention to cows during calving as well as selection pressure being placed on bulls for increased calving ease. Further gains could be expected if calves were either backgrounded or placed in a retained ownership program. Selection for increased yearling growth as well as carcass quality and yield is best maximized in an ES/AI system. Finally, the biggest gains may be in the value recognized in females produced and retained in the herd utilizing ES/AI protocols. Assuming that selection pressure is placed on maternal traits and maternal performance, these females born early as a result of an ES/AI plan have proven that they excel in comparison to herds where females are a product of natural service sires. These daughters of ES/AI plans have proven to wean heavier calves that also excel in their offspring’s ability to maximize profit in feedlot scenarios where selection pressure has been placed on carcass traits. One final thought about ES/AI. These protocols are well researched to allow beef producers to utilize highly proven bulls in their commercial herds. However, each producer is responsible for the entire management system. ES/AI will not be profitable in herds under poor management situations or where producers place selection pressure on the wrong traits resulting in calves born via AI but lacking the genetic profile to maximize economically important traits. There is no doubt that ES/AI is a time consuming practice that has real risks of failure if the protocols are not followed correctly and the cows are managed poorly. ES/AI cannot feed cows, build cross fences, manage soil fertility, nor vaccinate the cow herd against reproductive failure. ES/AI is the fine tuning that has allowed commercial operations to take their cow herds to the next level for genetic excellence and profit generated per cow. The ability to not only select for elite genetics but market those genetics either as load lots of weaned calves or as finished feedlot cattle is proven to increase dollars returned to the cow compared to their contemporary cow-calf neighbor. There is no question that ES/AI is a valid component of cow calf operations looking to maximize pounds weaned and dollars generated per cow exposed.


Practical Application of Estrous Synchronization and Artificial Insemination Don Richardson DVM The Richardson Ranch has been using ES/AI programs for nearly 35 years. The first Controlled Breeding Program used at Tlell was done in 1980 using Lutalyse, the first prostaglandin injection available. We injected 20 cows 11 days apart then bred all the cows 72 hours after the second injection. The next spring we had 12 calves born to our AI. We were hooked and we have used AI extensively ever since. Day 1----------------------------------->Day 11------------------>72 hours later Lutalyse 5ml Lutalyse 5ml breed all cows Over the years we moved to Estrumate to decrease injection volume from 5 ml to 2 ml and we tried several different methods of synchronizing using only prostaglandin injections. We quickly recognized that certain cows were responding differently to our injection of Estrumate and we were only getting pregnant the cows in standing heat 48 to 60 hours after our second injection when we used timed insemination at 72 hours. The few cows who came in at 24 hours or 96 hours after the injection were getting missed. So we dropped the timed breeding and bred to observed standing heat following our injections. This increased our pregnancy rate to first service AI by 10-15% but it increased our labor to five days of heat detection. Day 1----------------------------------->Day 11------------->observe and breed to standing heat for 5 days Estrumate Estrumate On several years we also tried the program of observing and breeding cows to their natural heat for 5 days then injecting all cows not AI in those first five days with estrumate and observing and breeding all the remaining cows in the next five days. This later program was a little more labor intensive again but less Estrumate was used (One injection for 75% of the cows instead of two injections for all the cows) and we seemed to have slightly better conception with the natural heats than those induced by the injection but it was not likely a significant difference. Day1——>Observe and breed to standing heat —>Day 5——- >Observe and breed to standing heat for 5 more days Estrumate all cows not bred in first 5 days In the last fifteen years we have more tools to help tighten the breeding period but these drugs add both cost and cattle handling to the program so they are not for everyone. Combining the CIDR’s (Controlled Internal Drug Release) for Progesterone administration and GnRH (Gonadotropin releasing hormone) we can now control the response to the drug program down to a few hours rather than a few days. With our busy lives the ability to spend a minimum of three hours a day with the cows, for 5 to 10 days, to do a good heat detection job, has become a luxury we can no longer afford so we use pharmaceuticals to get the job done in a timelier manner. We now use the program below but closely monitor the cows after their CIDR is pulled and breed any cow in heat to the AM/ PM rule (in heat in AM, breed that PM or in heat in PM, breed next AM) should she come into heat before she is due to be bred on the program. If I have scheduled the program and expect to breed all the cows on a specific morning I find that nearly 25% of my cows can be bred the evening before based on standing heat and the AM/PM rule. As always, there are so many variables but when the semen used is good, the nutrition level and BCS in the cows is good and the crew pays attention to all the little details, the results can be very rewarding. The down side is four trips through the squeeze and over twenty dollars in drugs but the up side is we consistently now have approximately 90% of our calf crop each year from artificial insemination and we spend much less time doing heat detection but a lot more time setting up the program and the cows!





These fifty-seven active breeding units of the BC Hereford Association all registered Hereford calves in the past two years 1 3-D-L HEREFORDS



























































21 E & C HARMS

































32 J. GREENALL, Rafter Lazy J












2012 Top Ten BC Herds by Registrations Benwyn Farm Ltd Little Fort Herefords Courtenay Herefords Deanfield Herefords Echo Valley Herefords Copper-T Ranch Richardson Ranch Dorothy & John McElroy Lone Fir Ranch Rafter Lazy J

70 57 53 39 34 31 31 23 23 19

54. .56 14



.17.37 57 .9

.19 34 .21 22 46

.41 .23 .44 45 .33 .51 .43 .28 .18 .1 40 3018


.7 .24.3


2012 Top Ten BC Herds by Transfers Richardson Ranch Copper T Ranch Courtenay Herefords Dennis and Darlene Borrow Little Fort Herefords Copper Creek Ranch Dorothy and John McElroy 5 Star Herefords Echo Valley farm Joan Fisher

28 19 14 12 10 9 8 7 6 5

President : Daryl Kirton 604-855-2287 Vice-President : Murray Gore 604-951-2306

Secretary : Janice Tapp 250-699-6466 Treasurer : Vic Redekop 604-856-7279

.39 .5 .2 .8



.10 .38 .12 26. .31





































































.36 2012 Top BC Herds on THE by STARS

55 .32 .53 .33 .50 47 20 2229 .4 .16


.35 .15




Little Fort Herefords Richardson Ranch Hlusek Farm Copper-T Ranch Sunnybrae Herefords Lone Fir Ranch Joan Fisher Echo Valley Herefords Courtenay Herefords Rafter Lazy J Benson Farm Bry-der Herefords Coppertone Farms Ltd Golden Horn Ranch

5 Star 5 Star 5 Star 4 Star 4 Star 4 Star 4 Star 3 Star 3 Star 3 Star 3 Star 3 Star 3 Star 3 Star


Understanding POLLED, HORNED AND SCURS in Hereford Cattle Don Richardson, BSc, DVM.

Question: My cow herd is all horned; will your Polled Bull with scurs dehorn all my calves? To answer this question we must first have a basic understanding of genetics. Genes are sequences of proteins which occur on the chromosomes in every cell of every living creature. These genes control the development of the embryo. Some traits like horns in European cattle are controlled by only one pair of genes while other traits like tenderness are likely controlled by over 100 different genes. All animals have two sets of chromosomes in every cell in their body except eggs and sperm which only have one set of chromosomes. Therefore, when the sperm and the egg come together to form the fertilized egg it has two sets of each chromosome, one from the dam and one from the sire. As the egg develops into a fetus these chromosomes with their genes will dictate which traits develop in the newborn. If Mendel had been a Hereford breeder instead of a monk growing sweet peas, he would have used the horned gene to demonstrate simple inheritance. When we consider the simplest scenario using the horned/polled condition as an example, we find that the polled gene is dominant over the horned gene. That means that if there is a pure polled bull (ie he carries the gene for polled on both sets of his chromosomes, this is called Homozygous polled) and he is bred to a horned cow (she has the horned gene on both her chromosomes, this is called Homozygous horned) all the offspring will be polled even though all the calves will have one polled gene from their sire and one horned gene from their dam. This is because the polled gene is dominant and it trumps the horn gene every time. Cattle which carry both a polled gene and a horned gene are called Heterozygous Polled.


For ease of explanation we refer to the dominant polled gene as capital P while the recessive horned gene is referred to as small p. All animals have two genes so are referred to as big P, big P or PP (Homozygous Polled), big P little p or Pp (Heterozygous Polled) and lastly little p little p or pp (Homozygous Horned). The sperm or egg from a PP animal will always carry the P polled gene and conversely the sperm or egg from the pp animal will always carry the p horned gene. The Pp animal will produce 50% eggs or sperm carrying the P Polled gene and 50% carrying the p Horned gene. When Homozygous Polled parents are bred ( PP x PP ) all the offspring will be PP ( Homozygous Polled ). All the calves are Polled as there are no horned genes in these parents! When Homozygous Horned parents are bred (pp x pp) all the offspring will be pp (Homozygous Horned). All the calves are Horned as there are no Polled genes in the parents. We learned in our example above that breeding a Homozygous Polled parent ( PP )to a Homozygous Horned parent ( pp ) (figure 1) will always result in 100% Polled calves which will all be Heterozygous Polled ( Pp ). Remember what we learned above, each calf has both the Polled gene and the horned gene but because Polled is dominant, all calves are polled. Figure 1

Homozygous Horned Cow ( pp )

p egg (horned gene) Homozygous Polled Bull ( PP )

p egg (horned gene)

P sperm (Polled gene)

Pp embryo

Pp embryo

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

P sperm (Polled Gene

Pp embryo

Pp embryo

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

When a Homozygous Polled parent ( PP ) is bred to a Heterozygous Polled parent (Pp ) (figure 2) all the calves are polled but 50% of the calves will be Homozygous Polled ( PP ) and 50% will be Heterozygous Polled ( Pp). Figure 2

Heterozygous Polled Bull ( Pp )

Homozygous Polled Cow ( PP ) P egg (Polled gene)

P egg (Polled gene)

P sperm (Polled gene)

PP embryo

PP embryo

(Homozygous polled embryo)

(Homozygous polled embryo)

p sperm (horned gene)

Pp embryo

Pp embryo

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

When a Homozygous Horned parent ( pp ) is bred to a Heterozygous Polled parent ( Pp ) (figure 3) 50% of the calves will be Horned (Homozygous pp) and 50% will be Polled (Heterozygous Pp ). Figure 3

Heterozygous Polled Bull ( Pp )

Homozygous Horned Cow ( pp ) p egg (horned gene)

p egg (horned gene)

P sperm (Polled gene)

Pp embryo

Pp embryo

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

p sperm (horned gene)

pp embryo

pp embryo

(Homozygous horned embryo)

(Homozygous horned embryo)

When a Heterozygous Polled parent ( Pp ) is bred to another Heterozygous Polled parent ( Pp ) (figure 4) there will be 25% Homozygous Polled, 50% Heterozygous Polled and 25% Homozygous Horned. That means you will have 75% Polled calves and 25% Horned calves but 2/3 of the Polled calves will carry the horned gene but none of the horned calves will ever carry the polled gene because that would make them polled! Figure 4

Heterozygous Polled Bull ( Pp )

Heterozygous Polled Cow ( Pp ) P egg (Polled gene)

p egg (horned gene)

P sperm (Polled gene)

PP embryo

Pp embryo

(Homozygous polled embryo)

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

p sperm (horned gene)

Pp embryo

pp embryo

(Heterozygous polled embryo)

(Homozygous horned embryo)


So back to the question, will your Polled Bull dehorn my cows? If my cows are all horned we can be assured they are all pp but there is no way without genetic testing to tell if the Polled Bull in question is Homozygous Polled PP or Heterozygous Polled Pp. The PP polled bull will result in a 100% polled calf crop (Pp) when bred to horned cows but the Pp polled bull will give 50% polled calves (Pp) and 50% horned calves (pp) on this herd of horned cows. What about the scur? Are these just stunted horns? Scurs are sometimes called skin horns. These are incompletely developed horn like structures which vary in size from small scablike protrusions buried in the hair to small horn-like growths which do not attach to the skull. On rare occasions in mature animals the scur can get quite large and appears to become fixed to the skull later in their life but it never grows to the full extent expected from a horn. Scurs can only be seen in polled cattle as the horns of horned cattle hide any scurs they might inherit. Polled cattle are therefore often referred to as Smooth Polled or Scurred Polled. Scurs are NOT an incomplete expression of the horn gene as many breeders believed in the past. Scurs have their own gene. They are controlled by the scur gene S (absence of the scur gene is noted as s). Both polled and horned animals can carry the scur gene. The scur gene is expressed differently than the Polled/horn gene in that it is influenced by both the sex of the animal and its horned or polled genes. It appears that the P gene for Polled will also influence the expression of the S gene as not all clean Polled cattle are free of the scur gene. Only cattle heterozygous for the polled gene (Pp) will actually grow scurs. In the males the Scur gene is dominant meaning that if the heterozygous polled bull acquires one gene for Scurs from either of his parents he will have Scurs, while in the heterozygous polled female the scur gene is recessive meaning she has to have inherited the S gene from both parents in order to express the scur trait with the growth of these skin horns! The following chart (figure 5) shows the possible outcomes when a smooth polled cow which is heterozygous for both the polled/ horned gene and the scur gene is bred to a scurred bull which is also heterozygous for both genes. Note how complicated this can quickly get with many different possible outcomes! Figure 5

Smooth Polled Cow Heterozygous for both the horned and the scurred gene PpSs PS Ps pS ps PS

Scurred Polled Bull Heterozygous for both the horned and the scurred gene



PpSs ps

Smooth Bull Smooth Female PPSS Smooth Bull Smooth Female PPSs Scurred Bull Scurred Female PpSS Scurred Bull Smooth Female PpSs

Smooth Bull Smooth Female PPSs Smooth Bull Smooth Female PPss Scurred Bull Smooth Female PpSs Smooth Bull Smooth Female Ppss


Scurred Bull Scurred Female PpSS

Scurred Bull Smooth Female PpSs Horned Bull Horned Female ppSS Horned Bull Horned Female ppSs

Scurred Bull Smooth Female PpSs Smooth Bull Smooth Female Ppss Horned Bull Horned Female ppSs Horned Bull Horned Female ppss

The result of this cross shows that 25% of the calves will be horned, 75% will be polled, 50% of the polled bull calves will be scurred and 50% will appear clean polled but 83.33% of the polled heifer calves will be clean polled and only 16.66% of the Polled heifers will have scurs. When you evaluate a scurred animal in your herd remember that only cattle which are heterozygous for the polled trait (Pp) will have scurs and that the gene for scurs is sex linked and is dominant in bulls and recessive in females. Once you have selected for a 100% homozygous polled herd you will no longer see any scurs but the gene for scurs may still be there to be passed on to the next generation. Now we can revisit the original question posed at the start of this article, My cow herd is all horned; will your Polled Bull with scurs dehorn all my calves?. We have just learned that all Scurred Polled Bulls have to be Heterozygous Polled in order to allow the scurs to grow so we can definitely tell our buyer that this Scurred Polled Bull when bred to a totally horned cow herd will give 50% Polled and 50% horned calf crop. As far as scurs are concered, we have no way to tell if this Scurred Bull carries one or two copies of the Scur gene and of course we have no way to tell if the Horned cow herd carries the scur gene so we can’t predict what percentage of the Polled calves will be scurred. This discussion above holds true for all the European cattle seen in Canada. The tropical breeds with Zebu ancestry, like Brahman, Santa Gertrudis and Braford also carry a third gene called the African horned Gene (Af). Scientists are reasonably sure that this Af gene, which is dominate over Polled, is also affected by the sex of the animal with PP and Pp bulls needing only one copy of the Af to be horned but PP and Pp cows need two copies of the Af gene to be horned. REFERENCES B.C. Allison. 1996. Inheritance of Polledness, Horns and Scurs in Beef Cattle, Dept. of Animal Science, North Carolina State University Dr. RR Schalles. 1995. Understanding the Scurred Condition in Polled Cattle, Kansas State University



Diane, Grant & Bryan Hoffman (250) 374-1185

Raising Horned Herefords for over 40 years Located south of Kamloops, BC Horned Hereford Bulls & Commercial Cattle For Sale at the Ranch


Kari Lynn, Jeff & Will Dundass (250) 374-6151 Pam Ogilvie (250) 374-6563

The ABCs of 2013 in the BC Hereford Association Janice Tapp, Secretary, BC Hereford Association Annual general meeting, Bull Sales and Celebrations--2013 was a busy year in British Columbia. The BCHA AGM was held in Williams Lake in April-a change in venue from Salmon Arm where it has been held for the past few years. Members attended from across the province. Gordon Stevenson, then General Manager of the Canadian Hereford Association, gave an informative presentation on CHA finances and Research & Hereford Breed Improvement activities. The CHA has developed an All-Star recognition program for breeders participating in the Total Herd Evaluation program. The first All-Stars were published in the Digest in August. The CHA is taking part in the Canadian Cattle Genome project to develop higher accuracy in EPDs; is working with Iowa State University to develop a Hereford SNP panel (genetic mutations used to develop Molecular Breeding Values to increase accuracy numbers on younger animals); and is conducting a Hereford Feed Efficiency Research Project at Olds College and Cattleland in Alberta. In the first year of the trial, five breeders from BC participated, sixteen from Alberta, five from Saskatchewan, nine from Manitoba and one from Ontario. Members greatly appreciated Gordon's presence and the updates he provided. Bull sales were strong, with many good bulls finding new homes in both commercial and purebred herds. High selling bull at the Ray Van Steinburg's Pine Butte Sale went to Philip Ranch, Knutsford, BC for $6400. The Vanderhoof Bull Sale saw the McLarry's of Burns Lake pay $4400 for a Richardson Ranch bull. The Grand Champion Bull for Little Fort Herefords at Williams Lake was als o the High Seller for $7100 to Wayne Magneson from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, with Neil Turner's Reserve Grand Champion selling to Springfield Ranch of Williams Lake for $3700. Celebrations in August at Little Fort Herefords marked their 70th Anniversary. People from throughout Alberta and BC came to their ranch where activities and events provided a weekend of fun. Mr. Gung Loy Jim was the recipient of the Hereford Memorial Scroll for 2013. We are proud to have such dedicated breeders in our BC Association. BC is also fortunate to have three active Hereford Clubs. Congratulations to our current club presidents: Maureen Ziemer, Echo Valley Herefords-Thompson Valley Hereford Breeders; Greg Peters, Peter Herefords-West Coast Hereford Club and Don Richardson, Richardson Ranch-Yellowhead Hereford Breeders' Association. We appreciate their willingness to let their names stand as leaders of these groups. Thanks also to all the officers and directors involved in the BCHA & the clubs which wouldn't exist except for their volunteering spirits. 26

2013 in the BC Hereford Association continued While some members stepped forward to take on jobs, others moved on. Darlene Borrow, Secretary of the BC Hereford Association for many years joined her husband, Dennis, in retirement. The Borrows dispersed their Sharden Polled Hereford herd in the spring and are now relishing the freedom to travel, relax and enjoy their champion Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Thank you, Darlene, for all your work and support over the past years. We miss you. Dena Findlay was another active member who decided to travel in a different direction. Dena and Albert dispersed their Finlay Farm Herefords a couple of years ago and Dena is now busy with her sheep. Dena looked after our 4H Hereford Influence Awards for many years. Good luck with your new livestock, Dena. Thanks for a job well done! Speaking of BCHA awards, ten 4H or Junior awards were given out to Hereford Influence projects across the province. A list of these winners follow: Island 4-H Beef Spring Show: Top Steer: Jordan Neilsen, Abbotsford, Top Heifer: Jake Smith, Mission Beef Okanagan 4-H Stock Show: Top Steer: Catheline Michaud, Salmon Arm, Top Heifer: Katie Hudson, Armstrong Pacific National Exhibition: Top Steer: Kailey Reimer, Top Heifer: Jake Smith, Mission Provincial Winter Fair: Top Steer: Sarah Schwarz, Kamloops

Nechako Valley Exhibition: Top Senior: Kolby Page, Vanderhoof, Top Junior: Ethan Schlamp, Fort St. James Williams Lake: Top Steer & Reserve Grand Champion Steer: Karena Sokolan, Williams Lake Three Mark of Excellence shows took place in BC in 2013. The first MOE of the year, sponsored by the Yellowhead Club, happened at the Nechako Valley Exhibition in Vanderhoof after a seven-year absence. Richardson Ranch had the Grand Champion Bull, Tlell 80P Eeyore ET 28Z. The Grand Champion Female, Tlell 8R Tickle 22T, also owned by Richardson Ranch, reigned Supreme at the end of the day. Hereford Breeders topped the Nechako Valley Exhibition Beef Shows over all by being named the Premier Breeder-Richardson Ranch and the Premier Exhibitor-Copper-T Ranch. The West Coast Club held their inaugural one day MOE show at North Bluff Farm in mid September. Thank you to Vic Redekop for hosting. Grand Champion Female was North Bluff 3T Georgia 430Y owned by North Bluff Farms Inc and Grand Champion bull was owned by Copper Creek Ranch. He was CCR 5109 Vance 301A. Both the Nechako Valley and the West Coast shows were characterized by an increase in numbers of both exhibitors and animals. The third MOE show was the Interior Provincial Exhibition held in Armstrong. A strong contingent of Herefords were paraded before the judge on the last weekend in August. Grand Champion Female was CB 122L Lady B 222Z owned by Cayley Brown and Lloyd and Sharon Frances of the Maritimes. Copper Creek Ranch's CB 57U Can Doo 102Y was Grand Champion Bull at IPE. To end the show season congratulations to The Richardsons from Tlell, BC and Cayley Brown from Princeton on their Reserve Grand Champion Females at Farmfair (Tlell 8R Tickle 22T) and Agribition (CB 122L Lady B 222Z) respectively. Their top showings brought an end to the Mark of Excellence shows in which our members participated. Fall brought sales around the province. In September, Richardson Ranch held their fourth successful online sale with cattle selling throughout BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. At the Pacific Invitational All Breeds Female Sale, Neil Turner of Sunnybrae Farms sold his two bred heifers for a good price to a purebred breederHayley Bell, granddaughter of Maxine Bell of Houston. October and November had Hereford members weaning calves and getting ready for the coming winter. Most breeders sold cattle privately and/or through their local Auction Markets. Calf markets were stronger than in previous years especially for steers.




THE (Total Herd Evaluation) is a complete-herd reporting system to evaluate performance traits. Participating in THE provides performance reports (adjusted weights, indexes and ranks) and EPDs (Expected Progeny Differences which are run twice per year). It is a cow-based program - breeders can report any or all of the three core traits, birth, weaning or yearling. The only requirement is that if any trait (i.e. birth weight) is reported, then that trait (i.e. birth weight) must be reported on all calves you have in your inventory, not just those that are registered. It is the comparison between calves given the same opportunity to perform that generate EPDs, not their actual value. EPDs are the only way to compare across herds of the same breed. To enroll, the office just needs to be notified! Herd Inventories are created once per year (January) and provide preprinted forms listing owned cows… After updated inventories are submitted to the office, Weaning Worksheets are returned to the member to record weaning weights. When those are sent in to the office, Weaning Performance reports are returned to the breeder along with Yearling Worksheets etc… (Plus, of course, THE participants have access to the online system which simplifies the whole reporting process… Instructions come with the password.)

For more information or to enroll, please contact or call the office toll-free 1-888-836-7242. THE All - Star Breeders The THE All - Star recognizes breeders who fully comply with the THE mandate of complete and accurate reporting of performance data on their animals. Breeders will be recognized based on an All - Star scoring system: 3 Star Breeders - report CE, BW, WW 4 Star Breeders - report CE, BW, WW plus one additional trait 5 Star Breeders - report CE, BW, WW, plus two additional traits. Additional traits include scrotal circumference, cow weights, BCS, ultrasound data 30


Why do a Breeding Soundness Exam on your bull? Don Richardson, DVM, BSc High reproductive efficiency is economically 5-10 times more important to the profitability of your farm than rate of gain or carcass quality. Open cows don’t pay their way. Therefore, the most important concern in bull selection is fertility but that is only going to pay dividends if the cow herd is also managed to ensure good cow fertility. High fertility in bulls requires soundness in three basic areas: 1) Sex drive and serving ability 2) Physical soundness 3) Good semen quality A deficiency in any one of these areas will result in reduced fertility or even sterility. A Breeding Soundness Exam by your veterinarian is very important but is usually not a complete examination of all three areas. Usually there is no evaluation of sex drive and a chute side examination cannot evaluate the serving ability of the bull. Therefore, it is paramount that the owner turning out a semen tested bull must observe the bull for adequate sex drive and the ability to physically mate. Scrotal circumference measurement is a highly accurate indicator of testicular mass. Large testicles are important to ensure that the bull has the serving capacity to breed numerous females during a short breeding season. In addition, it has been shown that there is a direct correlation between a bull’s scrotal circumference and the early onset of puberty in the bull’s daughters as well as her lifetime production. Simply put, bigger testicles mean heifers in heat sooner in the spring and more calves born over her productive life. Bulls which fail to meet their minimum acceptable circumference will be classified as UNSATISFACTORY and should not be used for breeding. Yes, a bull with a scrotum below minimum can still breed a cow but before you use him at home or sell him to the neighbor with only a few cows remember your responsibility to the improvement of the gene pool. Allowing these genetics to remain in the herd will only come back to haunt us all as it decreases the future fertility of both male and female offspring. In order to ensure that you don’t routinely have yearling bulls failing their Breeding Soundness Exam on SC, I would suggest that you look for both an above average scrotal circumference and an above average scrotal EPD on your next herd sire. That means that when looking for a herd sire for a seed stock producer the Yearling bull at 18 months should be above 35 cm while a Two year old needs to be at least 38cm with a Scrotal EPD of +0.6 or greater, which is in the top 50 percentile of the breed. 32

The following table shows the Minimum Scrotal Circumference Measurement for Hereford Bulls by Age in order for them to pass a breeding soundness exam in 2014. Aside from minimum scrotal circumference, the next most likely reason your bull will fail a Breeding Soundness Exam is that the Veterinarian is able to demonstrate a high percentage of abnormal semen when he/she examines the specimen under the microscope. This examination is often referred to as checking the morphology of the semen. These irregularities are well documented and usually mean the bull will be classified UNSATISFACTORY and these bulls should also be culled. Many of these bulls are often totally sterile and cannot get any cows pregnant. The Age of Hereford Bulls Minimum circumference gray area in Breeding Soundness exams which gets you a QUESTIONABLE or DECISION DEFERRED occurs most often when a veterinarian is unable to get 12 months 31 cm an adequate semen sample from your bull: the volume is too small, the bull 13 months 32 cm is too young, not enough of the semen is found alive or the motility is compromised - often referred to as a stale sample. We know that statistically 14 months 33 cm more bulls will pass their semen evaluation in June as compared to the 15 months 33.5 cm same group tested in February, especially yearlings. As a practitioner I never like to find a yearling bull Unsatisfactory unless he fails on either circumference or morphology. Although I may not be able to pass him in February I do not hesitate to DECISION DEFERRED him to a later date in the spring. Unfortunately, this is often after the spring Bull Sales have come and gone.

16-29 months

34 cm

21 – 30 months

35 cm

Lastly, when checking your herd sires at home the closer to turn out you check the bulls the less failures you will see but the less time you will have to find a replacement if one of your bulls fails his test. I must also say that doing a Breeding Soundness Exam is both an art and a science. It requires an experienced large animal practitioner with good equipment to do a good job. You are going to make major financial decisions based on these tests so be sure you are working with qualified personnel.


Roast Prime Rib of Beef

A nearly foolproof and easy recipe for serving up a smashing Roasted Prime Rib for your special dinner. It is nearly foolproof but several factors must be kept in mind for you to make the perfect rib roast. First, the roast MUST be at room temperature for several hours before roasting. 6 or more hours is preferred. You have to have accurate oven temp here. If you are not sure if your oven is accurate, try to get an oven thermometer and test it before attempting to roast this beautiful piece of meat. Next, you will need a calculator. Nothing serious here but you will need to multiply the poundage of your roast by 5 minutes. Using the example above, we are going to do this recipe using a 5.75 pound rib roast with 2 ribs. This will feed approximately 4 adults. First do the math…….roast is 5.75 lbs. x 5 minutes = 28.75 minutes. I will round up to 29 minutes and add 1 minute for the heat lost when opening the oven door. Keep this in the back of your mind for future reference.

Ingredients One 5.75 pound prime rib roast of beef (2 bones) There are no measurements here. Just generous amounts of the following: Butter at room temperature Herbs de Provence (These mixtures typically contain savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano )

Fresh cracked pepper & Kosher salt – a generous amount

Directions 1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (this MUST be an accurate temp) 2. Put roast, rib side down in roasting pan 3. Mix the pepper and herbs in the butter until well combined. 4. Spread the butter mixture over the entire surface of the prime rib. The more the better.

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5. Put the kosher salt over the entire surface of the butter. Be very GENEROUS. Use more than you think you should here. Most of the salt will run off. I can’t stress the “generous” enough. 6. Put the roast in the 500 degree oven for 30 minutes as outlined in step 1. The time will be according to the size of your roast. After the 30 minutes, simply turn the oven off and walk away from it for 2 hours. Yup, just walk away. Do NOT open the door, fiddle with it or anything else. Pretend the roast does not exist. 7. After 2 hours, remove the roast and LET SIT at least 15 min to allow it to rest before carving! 8. Slice and serve. You can remove the rib bones for easier slicing and it also makes it easier to get 4 generous servings from the roast. Save the bones! Serve with au jus or whatever you like. You will surely love this method. You will get a succulent, moist roast between rare and medium rare. Perfect! You can use an internal, oven proof meat thermometer to gauge the doneness of the roast. Insert the thermometer into the roast before putting it into the oven. Position it in the oven so you can see the thermometer through the window with the light on. Do NOT open the door. Here are some temperature guidelines for you, Rare 120 to 125 degrees F – Medium Rare 130 to 135 degrees F – Medium 140 to 145 degrees F – Medium Well 150 to 155 degrees F – Well Done 160 degrees F and above 34

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Hereford Influence 2014  

Annual brochure of the British Columbia Hereford Association.