Sire Genetics: A Red Angus Case Study (Part 1)

Posted February 6, 2024

The fall-born steer calf pictured below looks like he might be a top performer. Or does he? This steer was young and relatively green at approximately six months of age when the photo was taken. He appears to be put together well, with perhaps the right amount of frame and muscling to grow and develop favorably through the backgrounding and finishing phases that lie ahead.

More Information and a Question: This calf was part of a field study that compared the progeny of one high-growth/high-carcass Red Angus sire to two low-growth/low-carcass merit Red Angus sires. He is one of 26 total calves in the study, and he impressively ranked 3rd against his contemporaries for weaning weight on a 205-day adjusted basis. His weaning weight ratio was 111. All calves in the field test were out of black-baldy dams. Therefore, this calf, like all the others, is three-fourths Angus (red and black) and one-fourth Hereford.

Now for the question: Which sire group is this calf from? Was he sired by the high-growth/high-carcass sire? Or is or he by one of the low-growth/low-carcass sires? A person can only tell so much by looking. At the time the picture was taken, his downstream performance was yet to be determined.

How will he weigh up at harvest? How will he grade?

Find out more about this steer, the identity of his sire, his DNA scores and his feedlot performance and carcass results in part 2 of this article next week.