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Decision Evaluator for the Cattle Industry (DECI):  A decision support system available through the U. S. Meat Animal Research Center that simulates the impact of alternative breeding or management strategies on production and profit within a producer's herd. Decision Support System (DSS):  A set of rules, usually coded into a computer program, that helps a producer evaluate the impact of alternative breeding or management strategies on one or more aspects of a beef production enterprise. De-horning:  The process of removing the horns from an animal when they are young. This is often done to help minimize injury to other cattle and handlers. Deviation:  The difference between an individual record and the average for that trait in the individual's contemporary group. For all animals within a contemporary group, these differences sum to zero when the correct average is used. A ratio deviation is an individual's ratio minus the group average ratio or 100. Direct effect:  For weaning weight that portion of pre-weaning growth that is due to the calf's genetics (see Maternal Effect). Direct EPD:  An EPD representing the effect of the individual's own genes on the trait of interest. A calving ease direct EPD, for example, represents calving ease of an individual's progeny. See also Maternal EPD. Disposition (temperament):  A measure of an animal's docility, wildness, or aggression toward unfamiliar situations, human handlers, or management interventions. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid):  The chemical compound that stores within each cell genetic information unique to an individual. A DNA molecule is composed of two strands of nucleotides bound to one another by chemical bonds between each complementary (A-T and G-C) base pair. The molecule has the appearance of a twisted ladder. The sequence of bases within DNA molecules determine amino acid sequences of proteins, control development, and establish the genetic potential for production of the individual. Dominant:  An allele is dominant when its presence prevents a recessive allele from affecting the phenotype of an individual heterozygous at the locus in question. For example, the allele for polledness (P) is dominant to the allele allowing growth of horns (p), so an animal with the genotype Pp shows the polled form of the trait. Double muscling:  A simply inherited trait evidenced by an enlargement of the muscles with large grooves between the muscle systems especially noticeable in the hind leg. Dressing percentage - (Chilled carcass weight/live weight) x 100. Dystocia (calving difficulty):  Abnormal or difficult labor causing difficulty in delivering the fetus and/or placenta. Difficult births lead to increased calf and cow mortality and to more difficult re-breeding of the cow.
Source: Beef Improvement Federation
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