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EX94
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CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


With the plethora of information we now have available to us when making a mating decision, have we lost some of our ability to become instinctive breeders?
14/9/2003, 22:26 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


I think that despite the mass of info available, you have to know what to believe - sometimes that is reasoned and sometimes instinctive. I think anything coming from a genuine farmer owned AI cooperatives is going to be tested with finding the truth as the main concern. That cannot be said for some privately tested bulls. But we all know in this game that anyones proofs can go down or up and goalposts do move.

Then you have to choose to use this mass of information to improve your herd.

Buying the semen is one thing - using it on the right cows is another. A breeder can turn a £[sign in to see URL] bull into a £[sign in to see URL] bull by using it in the right places - and just as easily vice versa. There is still room for individuality and instinct in breeding and always will be. It is not an exact science and success or failure will be down to your interpretation of what fits on what. Then there is always Lady Luck. But you can do a lot to make your own luck.


Last edited by Bob (Local user), 15/9/2003, 9:43
15/9/2003, 9:20 Link to this post PM via Email
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


Breeding has always been a blend of art and science. However we are now bombarded with so much information that the number crunchers would have us believe that science is the more important. MOET has been going for some years now with some success but has yet to breed a truly world class bull. Perhaps if the scientists had held slightly less sway and had not got so carried away with chasing index then maybe they would have.
This is not meant as a dig at MOET because they are certainly not the only ones to chase index but merely as an example to ilustrate my point.
15/9/2003, 11:22 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


I would say art.
But you have to decide what you really want from your herd and where you want to go and set criteria on have to get there and stick to this whatever the current fashion trends.
The AI companies and the showring seems to provide to much SPIN! Our job as breeders is to sift through all this and not be taken down the wrong path.
15/9/2003, 17:01 Link to this post PM via Email  
 
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Ex 97 2E
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


Art ... but where are the true Masters who can breed a real decent cow from virtually any bull they can lay their hands on regarless of whether it is +3 or -3 on type ?

 All I see is a bunch of pedigree breeders painting by numbers ( using bulls of a mimnimum +2.5 on type for consecutive generations ) without really breeding a true masterpiece.... which then goes on to be a true breed leader. I do not believe there is any instinct in this just merely brainwashing by semen companies who tell us we must have this, that and the other and without it we will fail.

The days of the true artist appear to be long gone but what have scientists or reps ever bred ??????????
15/9/2003, 19:36 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


Whilst looking up the word plethora in the chambers dictionary I thought I would also have a look at the words "art" and "science"!

ART
1a the creation of works of beauty, esp visual ones: b such creations thought of collectively
2 human work and skill as opposed to nature
3 a skill esp one gained through practice

Looking good so far!

SCIENCE
1 the systematic observation and classification of natural phenomena in order to learn about them and bring them under general principals and laws.
2 a department or branch of such knowledge or study developed in this way, e.g. astronomy, genetics, chemistry.
3 any area of knowledge obtained using, or arranged according to, formal principals.
4 acquired skill or technique, as opposed to natural ability.

A lot more boring, but no less important!

As far as I'm concerned breeding has to be a combination of the two!!

Oh I nearly forgot!

PLETHORA

A large or excessive amount.

You can't have too much information ..the more the better!!!!!


Last edited by MarkDay, 15/9/2003, 20:11


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15/9/2003, 20:06 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


Art ..... but

I think today that the commercial producer, or even the commercial pedigree herds, could probably manage a herd of cows to do what they want using virtually all science. I do think at this level the science has done a good job and the bottom end cows and herds have improved hugely, also improving the average. Is this breeding? Yes I suppose it is, but not my idea of breeding.

Once you start to seek more type in your herd or cow then you are looking at an art form, something that if you are successfull with you can be proud of and other people will hopefully want to see as well.
I agree with Will about what is happening at the moment with the breeding, and I think this is where the science has failed. A.I. and E.T. have concentrated the bloodlines we are working with. Anything outside what the breeding companies are working with is regarded as substandard, particularly if it doesn't have index. Breeders are as guilty of this as the semen companies, as Will says we have been brainwashed.

I believe there will be a big prize out there shortly for somebody who can successfully create and market a true masterpiece, something bred so differently in terms of pedigree everyone will sit up and listen.

Can it be done? I really hope so.

Can it be done by science? No, it will be the work of an artist.
15/9/2003, 20:14 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


...Or a fluke!!!!

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Bickleygate holsteins

"I have not failed 1000 times, I have discovered a 1000 ways that do not work"-Thomas Edison
15/9/2003, 20:18 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


There you go [sign in to see URL] poll. emoticon

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Bickleygate holsteins

"I have not failed 1000 times, I have discovered a 1000 ways that do not work"-Thomas Edison
15/9/2003, 20:48 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 
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EX94
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Re: CATTLE BREEDING....... ART OR SCIENCE?


[sign in to see URL]'t disagree with any of that!!

You would probably all guess that I would favour breeding as an art, first and [sign in to see URL] art that can utilise science, although not always.

It is interesting that in other species, where less statistical information is available, the main focus is still on the blending of different bloodlines. I am not suggesting that this is the only way to breed, just that we may have lost some of our ability to think in these terms!!

Does the panel think that the balance is different when the intention is to produce bulls rather than females?
15/9/2003, 21:50 Link to this post PM via Email   PM via Forum
 


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