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Growth EBVs Explained (200, 400 & 600 Day Weight)

In general, with all other things being equal, higher growth rates will lead to higher profitability. In most economic analyses conducted positive emphasis on growth is warranted. BREEDPLAN calculates three growth EBVs – 200 Day Growth, 400 Day Weight & 600 Day Weight.

These EBVs are the best prediction of the animal's ability to grow to weaning (200 day), yearling (400 day) and later ages (600 day). 200 Day Growth EBVs are therefore important to vealer breeders, 400 Day Weight EBVs for yearling breeders and 600 Day Weight EBVs for breeders of heavy steers. These EBVs are closely linked genetically but there is some scope to select for them individually.

200 Day Growth

200 Day Growth EBVs are estimates of the genetic differences between animals in live weight at 200 days of age due to their genetics for growth. 200 Day Growth EBVs are expressed in kilograms (kg) and are calculated from the weights of calves taken between 80 and 300 days of age.

This EBV is a measure of an animal's early growth to weaning. It is an important trait for breeders turning off animals as vealers or weaners. Larger, more positive, 200 Day Growth EBVs are generally more favourable. For example, a bull with a 200 Day Growth EBV of +30 kg would be expected to produce heavier calves at 200 days of age (or weaning) compared to a bull with a 200 Day Growth EBV of +10 kg.

400 Day Weight

400 Day Weight EBVs are estimates of the genetic differences between animals in live weight at 400 days of age. 400 Day Weight EBVs are expressed in kilograms (kg) and are calculated from the weights of calves taken between 301 and 500 days of age. This EBV is an important trait for breeders turning off animals as yearlings. Larger, more positive, 400 Day Weight EBVs are generally more favourable. For example, a bull with a 400 Day Wt EBV of +50 kg would be expected to produce heavier calves at 400 days of age (12-14 months) compared to a bull with a 400 Day Wt EBV of +30 kg.

600 Day Weight

600 Day Weight EBVs are estimates of the genetic differences between animals in live weight at 600 days of age. 600 Day Weight EBVs are expressed in kilograms (kg) and are calculated from the weights of calves taken between 501 and 900 days of age. This EBV is an important trait for breeders targeting the production of animals suited for heavy weight grass or grain fed markets. Larger, more positive, 600 Day Weight EBVs are generally more favourable. For example, a bull with a 600 Day Wt EBV of +70 kg would be expected to produce heavier calves at 600 days of age (18-20 months) compared to a bull with a 600 Day Wt EBV of +40 kg.