While some breeders may still think they can gauge their cattle’s performance with a “trained eye”, more progressive breeders understand they must utilize newer technology in order to be efficient and profitable. At the Genetic Development Center we keep up with all the latest technologies and help breeders take the guess work out of breeding cattle.
Instead of taking years to determine which cattle are your top performers in your herd, you can now use genetic testing and reduce the time to make decisions about the performance of your cattle. Since performance measures are constantly evolving as new technology is introduced to the field, it is important to partner with a company that is on the cutting edge of this technology. At the Genetic Development Center we pride ourselves on having all of the latest technologies.
We are committed at the Genetic Development Center on staying current with all the latest technology in order to provide our producer partners with relevant and usable data that will bring them added value to their program.
With the use of ultrasound, fertility testing and feed efficiency testing, producers can accurately measure which cattle to keep in their herd and which cattle they should cull.
The data we provide to the commercial cowman at the Genetic Development Center will have a positive economic impact on their program. When a producer is aware of the genetic performance traits of their cattle they can make decisions that will be economically viable and beneficial.
We are located just ten miles south of College Station, and we are home to a top notch facility that will allow for the very best level of individual animal selection. The Genetic Development Center is a newly constructed bull and heifer development facility. Like any other gain test, producers will be able to develop and grow their bulls and heifers measuring average daily gains, yearling weight measurements, carcass ultrasound data, etc. However, the Genetic Development Center facility offers a unique twist.
The Genetic Development Center comes fully equipped with individual animal intake measurement equipment developed in Canada called GrowSafe Systems Ltd. Currently; there are only four publicly accessible GrowSafe bull tests in the United States. The Genetic Development Center is the only one in the south and is the most advanced cattle feed efficiency testing facility in the world. This system allows for dozens of animals in a single gain test pen all eating out of the same feed troughs, while still being able to measure individual intakes.
The GrowSafe system is made of individual feed troughs that are electronically activated. Upon arrival, each animal is given an electronic ID tag (EID) in its ear that has its own unique ID number but also can be electronically scanned much like a food item in a supermarket. A few times each day, feed is administered in a regular mixing truck just like any other feedyard.
The animal identification tag is read every second when an animal is feeding at the trough, load mechanisms and other sensors are sampled continuously. In a nutshell, the system weighs how much feed is there before it eats and how much is left when it pulls its head out. Cattle can eat freely out of any trough as the system will recognize any EID that passes through it. In this way, the system will record that, for example, animal “182” ate specifically “x” amount of feed during that few seconds of consumption.
The Genetic Development Center is designed for bi-annual gain tests aimed at developing bulls and heifers of all breeds. During one gain test, the maximum capacity is set for 640 head. So, with two tests per year the Genetic Development Centercan successfully develop 1280 head of bulls and replacement heifers to a saleable weight and condition while at the same time measuring individual animal efficiencies.
It’s no mystery the public wants ranchers to produce more “environmentally efficient” animals, but just as important is that rancher’s ability to stay profitable. Drought, diminishing land resources and feed costs are all factors that point to the need to develop more efficient and profitable cattle.
At the end of the day, staying profitable is all about a cattleman having the right tools. With the Genetic Development Center we give the cattleman the right tool to help them get there.