The TACE Structural Breeding Values

Supplied by Angus Australia for AngusPRO magazine 2022

Angus Australia, as part of the TransTasman Angus Cattle Evaluation (TACE), publishes two Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for structural traits, being Foot Angle and Claw Set.

Here in New Zealand, AngusPRO members have exclusive access to these EBVs.

The EBVs are calculated using modern analytical software that, among other things, offers the advantage of enabling the submission of multiple structural scores over time for the same individual animal, the submission of structural scores for mature females, and the incorporation of genomic information into the EBV calculation. These features increase the amount of information that is utilised for the calculation of an animal’s structural-trait breeding value, maximising the accuracy of the prediction.

Another feature of the Structural Soundness EBVs is that the analysis is conducted jointly with the American and Canadian Angus associations, meaning the structural EBVs calculated for animals recorded with Angus Australia are directly comparable to the associated Estimated Progeny Differences (EPDs) published for North American Angus animals, using a simple conversion.

The two structural EBVs published as part of the TACE analysis

Foot Angle
Foot Angle EBVs are estimates of genetic differences in foot angle (strength of pastern, depth of heel), with lower Foot Angle EBVs indicating an animal is expected to produce progeny with more desirable foot angle, being a 45-degree angle at the pastern joint with appropriate toe length and heel depth.

Claw Set
Claw Set EBVs are estimates of genetic differences in claw set structure (shape and evenness of claws), with lower Claw Set EBVs indicating an animal is expected to produce progeny with more desirable claw structure, being toes that are symmetrical, even and appropriately spaced.

Has the animal been scored?
The structural score for an animal can provide valuable information for the calculation of the animal’s breeding value. To view if an animal has had its structural score included in the calculation of its EBV, users will need to view the animal’s EBV table, and in particular, the Traits Observed section at the bottom of the table.

Traits Observed lists the performance recording information that has been collected and used by the TACE analysis for the calculation of estimated breeding values.

Animals that have their structural score information included in the TACE analysis will have ‘Structural Soundness’ listed under Traits Observed, with the traits included in brackets.

For further information on the structural EBVs calculated as part of the TACE analysis, contact staff at Angus Australia on:
Phone: +61 2 6773 4600