Suckler breeds

Suckler breeds

Beef breed farmers are today offered several guidance programs and specific tools for an improved consultancy service:


XP Allaitant

The foundation base consists of the animals that are in the Bovine Identification System (ECB), in reproduction testing (VA0), or in performance testing (VA4) and dairy testing.

Tested for more than 4 years on-farm, this powerful computer tool makes it possible to mate cows from the Charolaise, Limousine and Blonde d’Aquitaine breeds, for herds that are registered members (ECB, VA0, VA4) (identity and descent, reproduction testing, performance testing).

The system makes proposals for the whole of the herd in order to secure the average genetic advance of the herd. At the start of the campaign, the farmer has to define his selection priorities with his inseminator from among 3 orientations:

  • « Maternal qualities » : maternal abilities compose the strength of mating for a dual-purpose to dual-purpose beef type, specifically made for cow-calf producers to  breeder-fatteners ,
  • « Beefing abilities »: the matings permit the procreation of powerful, early-developing animals, in a beef type. The maternal qualities promote milk production, which is perfectly appropriate for fatteners,
  • « Morphology » of the herd: the skeletal development qualities of the mated animals are highlighted, as well as the calving qualities.

For each selection objective, a specific choice of bulls is made by the EVOLUTION beef cattle specialists. Each mating is founded on the animals’ pedigrees, the IBOVAL on-farm production proofs at weaning (IFNAIS, CRsev, DMsev, DSsev), the beefing abilities proofs (Growth of young bulls, conformation of young bulls) and the maternal qualities proofs (AVEL, ALAIT). This information is consolidated by the values collected when the bulls are tested on-station.


XPerf is suckler genotyping according to EVOLUTION. 

Because suckler genotyping is only profitable if it is well used, the EVOLUTION technicians guide farmers in their choices: Which animals should I choose? For what reason? Which genotyping strategy should I set up on my farm? …

Genotyping proceeds in several stages:

Stage 1: Choice of animals to be genotyped in association with your strategy:

  • I sell: to provide guarantees for my purchasers of breeding animals
  • I select: to eliminate double-muscling or ‘tourneur’ (axonopathy ??) aspects from my herd or on the contrary keep the good male and female breeding stock in order to speed up the development of the « hornless » or the double-muscling in my herd
  • I buy: to reinforce the qualities of the breeding bull that I have just purchased
  • I mate: to optimize my matings and give me security on the double-muscling or ‘tourneur’ traits

Stage 2: Sampling in the herd

The cartilage biopsy is carried out by a technician from your cooperative approved by the EDE. The cartilage sample is processed by Labogena, the principal genetic analysis laboratory in France.

Stage 3: Analysis in the laboratory

The DNA is extracted from the samples of cartilage then analyzed on the Illumina genomic chip (current reference chip) in order to obtain a genomic evaluation of the animal.

Stage 4: Production of the results

The genotyping of each animal is translated into an Xperf result. The confirmation of filiation rests on the comparison of 150 genetic markers between the calf and its parents. The genotyping informs with reliability close to 100% about the nature of the animal’s genes responsible for the double-muscling, hornless and ‘tourneur’ traits.

Stage 5: Restitution of the results

The time between forwarding the sample taken from your herd and sending the result directly to the farmer by e-mail or mail is less than 2 months.


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