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Performance Testing Cattle

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According to the " Regulation on Performance Testing and Determination of the Breeding Value of Cattle", the progeny, origin and own performance testing for male progeny of beef cattle breeds is carried out at the LVAT.

The advantages of station testing consist in the uniformity of the testing environment through which genetic performance differences can be evaluated more clearly.

 

The aim of the progeny test is to determine the breeding value of stud bulls via the fattening and slaughter performance of the progeny under intensive fattening conditions. For this purpose, at least 10 male offspring of a sire are subjected to the test. This test is carried out for purebred male progeny of beef breeds from suckler cow husbandry.

 

The testing of origin groups from suckler cow husbandry is used to determine the fattening and slaughter performance of beef cattle of different breeds and crossbreeds. The evaluation is carried out according to farm and genotypic origin. This provides farms with information on the subsequent performance of their weaned calves under intensive fattening conditions. Furthermore, recommendations can be derived which father breeds should be mated to the existing mother base in order to improve the quality of the weaners produced.

 

- Both test procedures are carried out according to the same test regime, as a time-dependent fattening test from the 240th -500th day of life (stall age: 6.0 - 7.5 months).

- Feeding is uniform with a TMR based on corn silage for free intake. An additional 2.0 kg of a standardized fattening performance feed per animal is administered daily via concentrate feeders.

- Animals are housed in groups of 10 on full slatted floors.

- The bulls weigh approximately 650-750 kg at the time of slaughter. Slaughter takes place at a commercial slaughterhouse up to 2 weeks before or after the end of the test. Fattening and slaughter performance results are corrected to a standardized test end at 500 days of life.

 

Characteristics recorded:

 

- Live weight at start of test and end of test

- Test day gain

- Day of life gain

- Grading of muscling of leg, back, shoulder at end of test

- Grading of type and skeleton at end of test

- Carcass mass

- Net daily gain

- Meat percentage and meat quantity

- Meat class (EUROP)

- Fat class (1-5)

 

Since June 2005, in addition to progeny and origin testing for fattening and slaughter performance, a stationary own performance test for future beef cattle breeding bulls has been carried out at the testing station of the LVAT Groß Kreutz.

 

- It is used to evaluate the meat performance of the animals on the basis of the determined test day and life day gains and muscling.

- Uniform housing and feeding conditions improve the reliability and comparability of the results compared to the field test. A calculation of the data for the breeding value estimation on meat performance takes place in the VIT Verden.

- The selection of the bulls to be stabled and tested is carried out by the beef cattle department of the Rinderzuchtverband Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), whereby the variety of breeds is large (Angus, Blonde d`Aquitaine, Charolais, Fleckvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Salers, Uckermärker).

- The age at stabling of the animals is between 184 and 240 days. The test begins with the stabling and lasts 183 days.

- The bulls remain in the ownership of the breeders.

- The test is conducted in open stalls with littered covered cubicles. The standing areas to the feeding table are paved and not covered. Per pen 4 - 8 animals are kept.

- The test animals are fed a TMR based on corn silage once a day with the feed mixer. Concentrated feed is measured and distributed manually 2x daily.

- Weights are recorded monthly and are reported to the farms on a weighing log after each weighing. This allows them to follow the development of their animals already during the test.

- Another advantage of station testing is the possibility of recording additional meat performance characteristics. An ultrasound measurement at the end of the test is used to record the area and fat thickness on the musculus longissimus dorsi.

- At the end of the test, an evaluation of the external appearance is made by the breeders' association. It is at the discretion of the breeder to have this evaluation entered in the stud book or to present his bulls for licensing at a later date.

- Afterwards the bulls are transported back to the breeder or in case of direct sale from the station to the buying farm.

 

The results of the performance tests are published annually in the annual report and animal breeding report (Ministerium für Infrastruktur und Landwirtschaft and Landesamt für Ländliche Entwicklung, Landwirtschaft und Flurneuordnung).

 

Furthermore, they are published and continuously updated on the homepage of the Rinderzuchtverband Berlin-Brandenburg  (Cattle Breeding Association Berlin-Brandenburg).

Contact:

Ulrike Drews

Tel. 033207 - 530 42

Fax. 033207 - 530 21

E-mail:

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