Breeding programs - Beef breeds

Beef cattle in the Czech RepublicIn order to better understand Czech national selection program for beef breeds we recommend you read following lines.The Czech Beef Breeders Association (ÈCHMS) is the organisation, which is authorised by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic to co-ordinate and organise a selection program for all beef breeds reared in the Czech Republic. Since it was established in 1990, the ÈCHMS main objectives are especially: performance recording, evaluation of animals, selection of young bulls for breeding at performance test stations (both for insemination and natural services bulls), estimation of breeding values (with assistance of Animal Breeding Research Institute in Prague), keeping of a Herd-Book for each beef breed, and the promotion of beef cattle (shows, seminars), etc. The ÈSCHMS operates all over the Czech Republic and associates breeders of all beef breeds. Within the ÈSCHMS, breeders’ clubs for particular breeds have been established. These breeders’ clubs are independent in coordinating the breeding aims and selection of a particular breed – they assign the selection program, standard of breeds and all other matters regarding their breed.

Until 2000 the selection work was based on weights of animals (growth potential) and observing the calving and birth weight of calves. In 2000, breeding values (BV) were published for the first time. Estimation of BV is published for bulls, cows and calves. Breeding values are calculated for calving ease, birth weight of calves and weights at age of 120, 210 and 365 days. Estimation of BV is made separately for paternal (direct) and maternal effect. Since 2002 the breeding values have also been calculated as relative – indexes (mean = 100, one standard deviation = 10).

The national system of testing of bulls for growth is carried out at performance test stations, which must be approved by Ministry of Agriculture for that purpose. In 2007 there were six main stations in the Czech Republic. Only the bulls from selected mothers and fathers can enter the performance test station – bull-calves born from assortative matings of bull-dams x bull-sires. The bull as well as his parents must fulfil the criteria of the selection program. Inspectors of the Czech Beef Breeders Association supervise that the bulls are bred and fattened according to the correct testing methods. They also measure and weigh the bulls before they enter the station, during the test and at the end of the test period. At the age of 13–14 months the test finishes and on the basis of performance, breeding values, exterior andfulfilment of breed standard, a comission selects the bulls.

During the past two years the average daily gain during the test period is between 1600 – 1800 g, in many cases even higher. Annually about 9500 bull-calves are born in the Czech Republic. From them are selected about 900 best bulls for natural service and insemination, which equates to 9,5 %. Natural buys about eight best bulls every year, which is less than 1 % of the bulls selected for breeding. You will find insemination doses of these bulls in our catalogue.

Growth ability of bulls selected at performance test stations
for breeding in 2007

Breed Bulls Weights at age of (kg): Height (cm) Daily gain (g/day)
120 days 210 days 365 days test since birth
Aberdeen Angus951943165351311 7751 412
Blonde d’Aquitaine202043265561371 8601 439
Belgian Blue31702894581241 4721 200
Gasconne101752945131301 7001 311
Hereford151822805261301 8071 361
Charolais2242093315631331 7991 466
Limousine462003135251331 6801 350

Breeds Charolais and Belgian Blue on the bull show 20008,
A. I. Centre of Natural at Hradistko p. Mednikem

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