North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
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PROGENY TEST FOR SIRE CERTIFICATION

To better evaluate new sire selections, and build a more productive cow herd the Dickinson Experiment station is involved in a progeny testing program as outlined by the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association.

In 1974, steer calves sired by the Polled Hereford bull O. G. Domestic Anxiety 8405 qualified him as a "Certified Meat Sire" by the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association.

This year, another set of seven steer calves were tested according to NDBCIA rules. These calves were sired by a Polled Hereford bull registered as Tex Anxiety 45.

Born between March 8th and April 13th, 1974 these calves were run with their mothers without access to creep feeders until weaning on October 16th. They were placed on official test November 1st, and worked up on feed until December 2nd, at which time they were placed on a self-feeder. They were sold on July 29th, 1975 after 269 days on feed.

Table 4 - Results of progeny test for sire certification
Average initial weight, lbs. 442
Average final weight, lbs. 994
Days fed 269
Average daily gain, lbs. 2.05
Average hot carcass weight, lbs. 593
Average dressing percent 59.7
U.S.D.A. grade 9.14
Average carcass value, $ 410.28
 
Average rib eye, sq. inch 10.58
Average backfat, inch 0.68
Weight per day of age, lbs. 2.24

Average feed consumption per steer per day was 15.4 pounds. Cost of feed per head per day was 81 cents, and for the entire feeding period was $218.75.

Table 5 - Dry rolled ration as fed to steers on progeny test for sire certification, 1974-75
  Fed from start to 65# steer liveweight Fed from 650# liveweight to finish
Oats, lbs. 450 250
Barley, lbs. 150 250
Corn, lbs. 150 285
Alfalfa, lbs. 225 175
SBOM, lbs. 10 25
Dry molasses, lbs. 10 10
Dicalcium phosphate, lbs. 5 5
Trace mineral salt, lbs. 20 20
Vitamin A, grams 30 30
Vitamin D, grams 10 10

Discussion: The steer calves performed well in the feedlot with gains of over 2 pounds per head per day for the 269 day feeding period. None of the steers suffered any illness or time off feed.

The carcass data would indicate some weakness in the areas of rib eye size, backfat thickness and USDA grade, although weight per day of age and live grade were both satisfactory.

These steers failed to meet the requirements necessary to qualify their size as a certified meat sire.

Summary: Performance testing as set up by the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association is a useful tool in identifying outstanding sires. Bulls that do qualify as certified meat sires can be a real asset to both the producer and the consumer.


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