All who follow their program are aware of how hard the Spitzer Family works to create “curve bender” bulls that give their customers a leg-up when it comes to increasing profitability. They present a summary of data for the class of 2013 for your study.
A few highlights to point out, beginning with what makes these bulls curve benders. Of the 35 bulls, 80% have birth weight (BW) EPDs lighter than the average BW EPD for all Non-Parent bulls in the current FALL 2013 Brangus Sire Summary. And, 89% have yearling weight (YW) EPDs greater than the average YW EPD for the same Non-Parent bulls.
The IBBA has added a calving ease (CED) EPD to the suite of EPDs now reported on Brangus cattle. This new EPD is expressed as a difference in percentage of unassisted births with a higher value indicating greater calving ease when that bull is bred to first-calf heifers. As you would expect, 74% of their bulls have a CED EPD better than the average for all Brangus Non-Parent bulls.
While Spitzer Ranch does focus heavily on using herd sires to create curve benders, they do not single trait select. That is why 77% of these bulls also have weaning weight (WW) EPDs heavier than the Brangus Non-Parent bull WW EPD. For the maternal traits you have come to expect from Brangus, 100% (that’s right - all of these bulls) have milk (MK) and total maternal (TM) EPDs better than the average for all Brangus Non-Parent bulls. Additionally, the average scrotal circumference (SC) EPD and rib eye area (REA) EPD for all Spitzer Ranch bulls places them in the Top 40% of all Brangus Non-Parent bulls. Finally, 74% of these bulls have a percent intramuscular fat (%IMF) EPD greater than the average for all Brangus Non-Parent bulls.
For those of you looking for bulls to breed heifers, 21 of these bulls will be “flagged” as true calving ease bulls very suitable to breed to heifers with assurance they should sire small calves with very few, if any, calving problems. The Spitzer Ranch definition of a calving ease bull is pretty strict as bulls must have a BW EPD less than breed average and no more than a 79 pound actual birth weight.
While the Spitzers “preach and teach and select” low birth weight EPDs and high yearling weight EPDs as foundations for profitable beef production systems, they obviously use every piece of verifiable data that can be accumulated on these cattle. Appropriate emphasis on carcass traits is of increasing concern in sire selection. Spitzer Ranch has used Ultrasound Scans to collect carcass data on all yearling bulls and their sisters since 1998. To provide consistency, all scans have been taken by Dr. Andy Meadows, Springwood Livestock Management Services; Wytheville, VA and all scans have gone to CUP Labs for a completely unbiased interpretation of these data. Carcass scans on this year’s yearlings is impressive.
The 35 bulls in the February sale have an average REA of 12.1 sq. in. with 3.27 %IMF at only .19 inch outside FAT. If they were finished steers at .50 FAT (typical fat at slaughter) they would be well into Choice Premium (CAB). Their sisters were a little fatter at .31 in. FAT but scanned even better at 9.7 sq. in. REA and a fantastic 5.03 %IMF.
A complete performance report on these bulls can be had for the asking by contacting the Spitzers and obtaining their WINTER 2014 NEWSLETTER. The folks at Spitzer Ranch wish you a BLESSED and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR! They would like to remind you of their PROFESSIONAL CATTLEMEN’S BRANGUS BULL SALE, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2014. If you wish your name added to their mailing list for Newsletters and/or a Bull Sale Catalog call 864/972-9140, write SPITZER RANCH, 1511 HWY 59, Fair Play, SC, 29643 or send an email note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Their Bull Sale CATALOG will be available at www.srbulls.com soon after February 1, 2014