Deciding which bull is mated to which cow has a major impact on the rate of genetic improvement, inbreeding levels and overall profitability being achieved by a seedstock herd. MateSel is a tool that enables breeders to optimise breeding outcomes by creating a suggested mating list based on a group of candidate sires and dams. The MateSel software was developed by Professor Brian Kinghorn at the University of New England and is used in the breeding of many species around the world including pigs, sheep and cattle.
"Tinder for Cows"
"The capability of the tool is beyond what mere mortals can do. It is a fast and effective tool for driving genetic improvement within a herd"
- Quotes from users of the MateSel service
A recent survey of BREEDPLAN MateSel users revealed that the most popular benefits of using the MateSel service were:
MateSel can also be used to make informed decisions about semen purchases, which bulls to use and/or purchase, animal selection or culling, mating group formation and mate allocations.
MateSel creates a list of optimal matings for a group of candidate animals limited by parameters as set by the individual breeder. Using the MateSel software a breeder can:
Once the MateSel analysis is completed based on the breeder specified parameters, a MateSel report (example MateSel Report) and suggested mating allocation list will be provided (example MateSel Mating List - csv file).
The MateSel report consists of several sections including:
1. Mating list sorted by sires.
2. Mating list sorted by dams.
3. Summary outcome statistics comparing dams, sires and progeny.
4. Graphs showing effect of MateSel strategy on BREEDPLAN EBVs and Indexes.
5. Graphs showing effect on inbreeding and age structure.
There are two ways in which MateSel can be used to assist the mating decisions of a herd. These can be used together or separately as the user chooses.
Sire Scoping Analysis - The first MateSel analysis should be undertaken well before the mating is due to occur (e.g. 2 to 4 months). At this stage, the candidate dam list should be fairly fixed, however as many candidate sires as possible should be included (e.g. AI sires, yearling bulls, rising 2 year olds, current sires). MateSel will then assist you in choosing which sires you should attempt to access (e.g. purchase semen, select from your available yearling or rising 2 year old bulls, purchase from auction sales).
Mating Allocation Analysis – Once the specific sires that are available to the mating program are known (e.g. natural and/or AI), a second MateSel analysis should be undertaken. A similar dam candidate list will probably be used to the sire scoping analysis. This analysis can be undertaken closer to the date of mating and will provide a guide to the allocation of matings for the available sires and dams that will be used in the upcoming mating situation.
If required, a MateSel analysis can be undertaken as many times as needed for each mating situation. This could be just the once, simply being the mating allocation analysis described above or multiple times to help identify such things as which sires to access, which females to use in an AI program or which females should be joined to each backup bull. To learn more about optimising mating allocation, watch this 5 minute video.
Firstly, you need to collate the information that is required by the MateSel analysis:
Submit this information using the Excel submission template. Comprehensive instructions are included on how to complete the template.
Once you have completed the submission template, you need to submit it to BREEDPLAN via email firstname.lastname@example.org
The MateSel operator will then undertake a MateSel analysis for your herd based on the information supplied. Your MateSel results will be made available via the secure member login facility (as accessed from the Search & Login page on this website). Once available, you will be notified by email that your results are ready to view.
As MateSel optimises the rate of genetic progress based on a Selection Index, MateSel can only be utilised by herds that are:
Fees for this service may apply.
Your first point of contact regarding MateSel is the MateSel operator. They can be contacted via email or phone:
Phone: +61 2 6773 3555
For general MateSel queries, you can also contact BREEDPLAN staff or the relevant SBTS or TBTS Technical Officer for your breed.