Genetics

Genetics

What sets us apart from other breeds is the use of hybrid vigour, and the strength of our database to make breeding decisions.

Hybrid vigour has a large impact on beef cattle productivity. Research from the USDA demonstrates an 8% improvement in weaning weight when a purebred cow is mated to a bull of a different breed. Their research also showed that crossbred cows are far more productive than purebred cows. The benefits come in multiple areas including more milk production, better body condition, better fertility, and a longer productive lifetime. In total, crossbred cows weaned 23% more weight than purebred cows.

The quantity and quality of data we have collected about Stabiliser® traits have enabled us to breed better performing, more efficient and profitable animals. This is something we are constantly refining as we move closer to our goal of creating the perfect suckler herd.

The data also enables us to accurately predict the development of specific traits in individual animals, giving farmers far more control over the management of their herd, making it easier to deliver the desired results.

We calculate this by assigning Estimated Breed Values (EBV's) to our cattle, which predict how particular traits will be represented in their offspring.

EBV’s explained

Stabiliser® cattle are performance recorded, the data can be viewed in ABRI. To find out more, click here ABRI.

Estimated Breeding Values (EBV's) provide an accurate forecast for the development of a specific trait in an individual animal. The forecast is based on performance data collected on the known relatives of the animal, and the degree to which the trait being analysed is inherited from one generation to the next.

EBV's are expressed in the same units as the recorded trait. For example, an EBV for DLWG would be expressed in kgs.

EBV's are easy to interpret, for example:

If a bull has an EBV of +40kg for yearling weight, it is estimated that his offspring have the potential to be 20kg heavier as a yearling than those from a bull with an EBV of 0.

The figure is set at 20 rather than 40 because the bull only passes on half of its genes onto its calves, therefore the value of the EBV must be halved to estimate the average genetic advantage it will pass to its offspring.

What is a Breeding Index?

Once EBV's have been calculated, they can also be combined to create selection indexes to meet wider breeding objectives and economic benefits.
The EBV's used in the indexes include:

Birth weight     |     Weaning weight     |     Yearling weight     |     Milk     |     Mature cow weight     |     Scrotal size     |     Rib fat     |     Eye muscle area     |     Intra-muscular fat     |     Feed to gain ratio     |     Dry matter feed intake     |     Feet     |     Teat & Udder     |     Temperament     |     Fertility

£Finisher Index

The economic value of an animal in terms of the financial merit of its offspring from weaning to slaughter.

£Weaning Index

The economic value of financial merit of its offspring from birth to weaning.

£Profit INDEX

The economic value of comparing animals against each other based on relative differences in profitability.

What our farmers say…
  • We are trying to produce beef that meets market specification and make the most profit possible. Using Stabilisers we are achieving our objectives, we have a low cost, low labour cow and good quality finishing cattle that meet the needs of the market.

    - Mel and Pete Momber, Hampshire
  • I’m excited by the prospects the Stabiliser can deliver for us. The proof was there based on scientific research, backed up by a large gene pool and precise management systems. It seemed the perfect breed for our farming system.

    - Will Evans, Machynlleth
  • On weaning in May at 10 mths old the Stabiliser calves were on par with the Blue and Angus calves. These were turned out to grass until early September then housed. This is when I was surprised by the differences between the breeds, the Angus averaged 480kg, the Blues 490kg but the Stabilisers were 530kg.

    - Robin Talbot, Laois – Ireland
  • In 2011 we bought 46 Stabiliser heifers plus 3 bulls and sold our 3 Belgium Blue bulls. The results were clear to see, by the time we pregnancy tested our 100 cows later that year. We went from historically having 15% barren cows to only 3% barren in a 9 week mating period.

    - Jeremy Iles, Gloucester
  • I have found Stabiliser cows to be very forage efficient. Their ability to put weight on in the summer months means I can save on winter feed costs. This has allowed me to keep more cows on the same resources.

    - Jono Cole, Cornwall
  • We have an easy-care system that is as profitable as any other beef enterprise. We benchmark our herd against the AHDB industry figure and we sit comfortably ahead of the top third performers. I believe we are now producing a carcass with the conformation and eating quality consistency that the market wants.

    - Dan Burling, Cambridgeshire
  • Docility, feed efficiency tested, easy calving, hybrid vigour, fertility, growth AND carcass traits from highly maternal cattle, what’s not like?

    - Robin Norrie, Fife
  • We aim to get most out of grass as possible. The hardy nature of the cattle seems to suit this system very well. Hardly any assistance is required during calving, combined with the excellent calf vigour produce healthy and strong calves which further reduces labour costs.

    - Llion and Sian Jones, Conwy
  • We’re over 10 years into our Stabiliser journey, we’re reaping the rewards. Moving to the Stabiliser has been a game changer for efficiency and job satisfaction, allowing us to increase cow numbers on the same area and finishing bulls averaging over 380kgs at 13 months. Our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner!

    - Peter and Jackie Storrow, Pembrokeshire
  • Stabiliser cattle are a specialised suckler beef breed with the added bonus of hybrid vigour. The cattle are multi-trait performance recorded to produce EBV’s, this has a huge positive economical effect on our business. All of this is crucial for us to have a financially improving suckler herd on the farm.

    - Harri Parri, Llyn Peninsula
  • We chose the Stabiliser breed for their docility and easy calving traits, but with the added benefit of turning grass into meat. We soon saw all of these traits were true. Our first home bred steers were finished off grass at an average age of 19 months.

    - Dyfed Roberts, Anglesey
  • Despite our rainfall, we outwinter our cows on kale, the stabiliser cow will lay down excess fat, and successfully rear her calf. During the winter considerable cost savings are made. By changing to Stabiliser cattle I keep approximately 50% more cows as they only weigh 650Kgs, which meant more beef being produced.

    - Matthew Cooke, North Devon
  • We started using Stabiliser bulls 20 years ago. The fertility of the breed has enabled us to calve our own heifers at 24 months and reduce our calving period to nine weeks. This together with their good temperament has encouraged us to increase cow numbers. Consequently, the farm is now producing a lot more kilos of beef.

    - Edward and Ellis Griffith, Pwllheli
  • Minimal labour is required at calving time, with easy calving cows and calves up and suckling in no time at all. This gave us the ability to increase our cow numbers with no extra labour. The growth rate of Stabiliser cattle is exceptional, producing high weaning weights whilst converting feed efficiently.

    - John and Ianto Pari, Gwynedd
  • We started using stabiliser genetics in 2016, we have not looked back since, they exceeded all our expectations. Changing to stabilisers has enabled us to calve heifers at 2years old with no problems, cows wean a higher percentage of their body weight, we have increased cow numbers without any need for extra labour.

    - Carys Jones, Camarthenshire
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