Parentage Pedigree

Genetic improvement was slow before breeders began to summarize and use performance information from bulls' daughters. Proper recording of sire ID was required for this advance and has been used throughout the last century in selection decisions. Proper recording of dam ID was encouraged during that period, but with less successful results during early years. As genetic principles became better understood, accurate estimates of dams' genetic merit became more important. Cows of high genetic merit were designated as elite and usually were mated to top sires to provide young bulls for progeny-test programs of AI organizations. In countries that require unique ID for each animal, the sire, dam, and birth date sometimes are known for nearly 100% of animals. Genetic evaluation systems today have sophisticated statistical models that can include information from many or all known pedigree relationships.

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