Identifying dams that provide the Aberdeen-Angus Advantage (Triple-A-dams)
Triple-A-dams aims to identify the dams within your herd based on their raw performance alone, and is not based on EBVs or predicted performance. Emphasis is placed on early puberty, breeding and early calving, followed by regularity of calving and above-average performance of offspring. While outstanding dams can be identified after their first or second calves, Triple-A-dams require a minimum of three calves to determine her regularity of calving and ability to produce above average calves for weaning weight year-after-year. Each herd with qualifying dams will receive a report that lists the dams in their herd that qualify, along with the parameters that have been met in order to achieve this qualification. The report will also be available in your downloads folder in your BREEDPLAN login.
Criteria for Triple-A-dams
Triple-A-dams are actively involved in breed performance recording. First, a female must have at least 3 natural calves registered. Secondly, a female must produce her first calf before a maximum of 911 days (2.5 yrs), and the female must have had her most recent calf in the last 10 years. From within the population selected using the above criteria, females are further filtered based on average calving interval for the 3 or more calves born to the female, such that the maximum calving interval is 365+ (30/number calving intervals). Lastly, of the selected dams based on the above criteria, females will be included if their (minimum 3) natural calves are present in contemporary groups (herd mates) of 5 or more, and where the average weaning weight ratio is greater than 105 – the calves are at least 5% above breed average. In summary, a qualifying dam must produce regularly and wean a calf that helps maintain contemporary group average weaning ratio of 105 or above.
Intended implementation steps and timeline
Reports will be published annually and will be available within herd initially (2023). It is an ambition to identify both breeders with Triple-A-dams, and the females themselves within BREEDPLAN for other breeders to be able to identify (2024). It is also an ambition to publish the full list, in the Review and online, from 2025. Lastly, AACS intends to identify the sires which produce 5 or more Triple-A-dams, on an annual basis.
Using the raw data with an easily understandable and accepted criteria will produce a list of dams that the breeder can identify with as being their top producing females – a way of describing the data set with a focus on maternal traits. It is expected that this approach will both encourage breeders to submit data to try to achieve greater numbers of their females populating their individual lists, on the basis that if the data isn’t there then the criteria cannot be applied to it. And secondly, create a greater confidence level in the predicted values (EBVs) which are created from the raw data.