Evaluating Irish Black® & Irish Red® Cattle
Cattlemen accustomed to utilizing Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) may wonder why they aren’t available for Irish Blacks and Irish Reds.
The answer is simple — this small, focused genetic pool of Irish Black and Irish Red cattle doesn’t have the sheer numbers required to have an EPD database. However, the Irish Black Cattle Association (IBCA) represents seedstock producers and 3,000+ registered cattle, which provides the infrastructure and support to collect, record and preserve the pedigrees of Irish Black and Irish Red cattle – and protect the genetic integrity of the entire breed.
Deb Brown, Long Pines Land and Livestock owner and current IBCA president, explains, “The Irish Black and Irish Red breed is the only trademarked breed in the U.S., and the fact that it was developed in the U.S. by American cattle rancher Maurice Boney is even better. Today, our association oversees the registration of Irish Black cattle. Each animal must be DNA-verifiable as a pureblood. This gives buyers confidence that they are truly buying Irish Black and Irish Red cattle.”
What makes Irish Black and Irish Red cattle so special and unique is the tightly controlled and closed gene pool that offers consistency in performance to meet the demands of commercial cattlemen while also exceeding the expectations of consumers seeking a great beef-eating experience.
Cattle registered with or certified by the IBCA carry the popular Irish Black or Irish Red genetics. Verify cattle claimed to be Irish Black or Irish Red purebred or percentage genetics before you buy by contacting IBCA at (406) 625-2587.IBCA Percentage Bood Policy
Genetic Data Evaluation of Long Pines Cattle
At Long Pines Land and Livestock, quality and trust are the foundation of our breeding principles. We ensure the integrity of all cattle offered to our customers through genetic testing to index carcass and maternal traits, and to confirm coat color and horned status. We also use ultrasounding to measure carcass traits of live animals.
By using Neogen’s Igenity® Beef DNA testing, we can predict performance traits in our cattle to better assist our customers in making animal selections that meet their needs. This DNA test consists of 16 major traits, plus parentage verification.
The Igenity Beef test provides a 1 to 10 score for each of the following traits:
- Birth weight
- Calving ease-direct
- Calving ease-maternal
- Heifer pregnancy
- Residual feed intake
- Average daily gain
- Weaning weight
- Yearling weight
- Ribeye area
- Fat thickness
- Hot carcass weight
At Long Pines, we use this data to continually measure and improve our herd – and so can you! These scores, along with our ultrasound data, are solid guidance to leverage the potential of Irish Black and Irish Red genetics. This depth of data allows both seedstock and commercial cattlemen to identify, manage and market cattle with more confidence.
As you appraise Long Pines cattle, connect with Deb about the production goals of your herd so she can assist with animal selection that fits with your goals.
“The Irish Black and Irish Red breed is the only trademarked breed in the U.S., and the fact that it was developed in the U.S. by American cattle rancher, Maurice Boney, is even better. Today, our association oversees the registration of Irish Black cattle. Each animal must be DNA-verifiable as a pureblood. This gives buyers confidence that they are truly buying Irish Black cattle.”
Meat Quality Ultrasounding
Long Pines ultrasounds bulls to estimate carcass retail yield and carcass quality traits, which includes ribeye area, backfat and percent intramuscular fat.
Ribeye area, in square inches, is measured between the 12th and 13th ribs and gives an estimate of the amount of muscle and lean product in the animal.
Backfat, in inches, is also measured between the 12th and 13th ribs and is an estimate of the external fat on the animal. This measurement is taken at a point three-fourths of the length of the ribeye from the end nearest the animal’s spine and is the most important factor affecting retail product yield.