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Scrotal circumference:  A measure of testes size obtained by measuring the distance around the testicles in the scrotum with a circular tape. Related to semen producing capacity and age at puberty of female sibs and progeny. Scurs:  Horny tissue or rudimentary horns that are attached to the skin rather than the bony parts of the head Seedstock breeders:  Producers whose primary goal is to produce breeding stock rather than animals for feeding and slaughter. Progressive seedstock breeders have comprehensive programs designed to produce animals with optimum genetic merit for the combination of traits that will increase downstream profit of commercial beef production. Selection:  Choosing some individuals and rejecting others as parents of the next generation of offspring. Choosing as parents those individuals of superior estimated genetic merit for traits of interest Selection differential (reach):  The difference between the average for a trait in selected cattle and the average for that same trait of the group from which they came. The expected response to selection for a trait is equal to selection differential times the heritability of the trait. Selection index:  A formula that combines performance records from several traits or different measurements of the same trait into a single value for each animal. Selection indexes assign relative emphasis to different traits according to their relative net economic importance, their heritabilities, and the genetic associations among them. Selection intensity:  The selection differential measured in phenotypic standard deviation units of the selected trait. It is inversely proportional to the proportion of available replacements actually selected to be parents of the next generation. For example, with A. I. compared to natural service, only a small proportion of bulls needs to be selected, and the selection intensity, selection differential, and selection response will be high. Serving capacity:  A measure of the motivation, willingness, and ability of a bull to detect and service females in estrus. Sibs:  Brothers and sisters of an individual. Sire model:  A genetic prediction procedure in which EPDs are directly computed for all sires with progeny in the population. Sire summary:  Published genetic predictions (EPDs) of sires for economically important traits from national cattle evaluation programs. Sire x environment interaction:  When the difference in progeny performance among sires is dependent upon some factor of the environment under which the progeny were compared. For example, sires might rank differently for progeny performance in different contemporary groups, herds, or regions. Sperm:  A mature male germ cell. Standardized performance analysis (SPA):  A set of programs that allow producers to collect, process, and interpret information on biological efficiency and economic returns to a seedstock or commercial beef production enterprise. Stayability EPD:  The expected difference among individuals in the probability that a daughter will stay in the herd to at least six years of age. Because the majority of cows culled before the age of six are open, the EPD is primarily a prediction of sustained fertility in female offspring. Steer:  Castrated male bovine. Super ovulation:  Process by which a cow is treated with reproductive hormones to induce her to produce more eggs than normal. Systems approach:  An approach to evaluating alternative individuals, breeding programs, and selection schemes that involves assessment of alternatives in terms of their net impact on all inputs and output in the production system. This approach specifically recognizes that intermediate levels of performance in several traits may be more profitable than maximum performance for any single trait.
Source: Beef Improvement Federation
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