Lilybrook Herefords

Light Birth Weight Program

A Concern For Our Breed.

A smaller live calf is much better then a great big dead one!

As a result of many years of strong selection for more frame size in most of our purebred herds, some bloodlines have also increased birth weights dramatically. If bulls with this genetic makeup are used on big cows (as in most purebred herds), they might not create any problems. However, if they are used to service first calf heifers or smaller cows, problems often do arise. As a result of some of these problem-cases, the Herefords as a breed are getting a bad name. Since the high birth weight bloodlines are known to most breeders, to stay away from them is only good long term management. We have practiced this policy for some time in our herd, but the fact is that we still have a few calves with weights higher than what we like. With all this in mind we feel that it is very important that we show the birth weights to our customers and let them decide what is acceptable to them.

It would also be good to remember that a build up of high birth weights over several generations cannot be corrected completely by one light birth weight bull. His genetic input to each of his calves is only at the rate of 50%.

To demonstrate that we have a solid background of reasonable birth weights in our herd, the following is a list of the lighter birth weight bulls we have used since we started to weigh our calves at birth.

Light Birth Weight Sires Used In Our Herd.

Name of Bull Number of Calves born in our herd. Birth Weight Averages of Calves, in lb.
HU Wetmore Domino 1S 4 67
Britisher Domino AGA 35V 6 73
Britisher Wetmore AGA 50Y 17 83
DP Britisher AGA 46E 43 80
Mr. Mo Le 47F 52 78
46E Britisher AGA 15H 150 79
Britisher Advancer AGA 40K 42 79
GU 46E Britisher 51K 59 82
SJS L Britisher 31 Dom Lad 4K 20 83
LCI Advancer Lad 23L 35 81
93J Standard AGA 1M 21 80
93J Standard AGA 128M 112 83
1M Standard AGA 13P 40 82
4K Britisher AGA 52R 76 84
DMF 95J Standard Lad 26S 37 81
AGA 47F Domino 26W 28 78
CTY Pacific W70 30 81
AGA 4S Standard ET 4X 8 79
AGA 103W Standard 98Y 14 81
AGA 10S Standard 137Y 2 71
CTY Centurion Y960 12 80
AGA 39X Standard 82Z 7 72
AGA 26W Domino 150Z 7 83
AGA 13X Britisher 37B 10 82
AGA Centenial 99B 13 74
CTY Brigader 24B 19 83
AGA 852 Stanmore ET 9C 57 83
AGA 28Z Domino 189C 10 82
AGA 47F Domino 23D 32 82
AGA 63T Standard 24E 24 84
AGA 303Y Standard 53E 11 78
AGA 37B Britisher 154F 7 72

This information was gathered from "Progeny of Sire Overlay" from the Canadian Hereford Association, T.H.E. Program.

We have found that most of our customers prefer a smaller live calf over a great big dead one!

Last Updated 18 Apr 2003

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