AMERICAN ANGUS ASSOCIATION - THE BUSINESS BREED

Performance

What is Angus Herd Improvement Records?

Investing in Inventory
What does inventory-based reporting mean for your herd?

For years, registered Angus breeders have capitalized on progress through performance by enrolling and participating in the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR) program. AHIR is available for registered Angus breeders who aim to make genetic progress in their herds.

Through AHIR, you can choose to report your data one of two ways; Inventory Reporting and Individual Reporting. When reporting on an Inventory basis, data is reported on females over 12 months of age and Individual Reporting is on a per calf basis.

Download AHIR Data Collection Guide
cattle

To enroll in the Individual Reporting option, you can use your AAA login and then report information under the “Submit Data” tab. When selecting this option, you will pay the $3 fee based on the number of calves you turn in.

Program enrollment for the Inventory Reporting option is available on the main page of AAA login. Enrollment is a simple process accompanied by step-by-step instructions. Through the Inventory option, each female over 12 months of age will be assessed a $2 fee upon enrollment. This fee will allow your next calf crop to be submitted free of charge.

Program participants can submit performance records three primary ways: electronically with the use of the Internet or with Angus Information Management Software (AIMS), or on paper via conventional mail. If producers are interested in submitting and/or viewing their data via the Internet, they can access the information through AAA Login at www.angusonline.org

DATA SUBMISSION

AAA Login

www.angusonline.org allows members to access information by obtaining a unique and private password. Once members have their password, they can submit their performance measures and other information and view their updated information online. Information on the Web site is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Breeding Records

For the most complete use of AHIR, it is advantageous to monitor and record your breeding inputs. Submission of records is strongly encouraged. Records include fields for breeding dates and AI sires, as well as pasture mating, with details on synchronization and pregnancy results. Future research will focus on the use of these records in Angus reproductive efficiency studies and development of genetic tools.

AIMS is the record-keeping software created for the American Angus Association and its members. Once a member purchases AIMS, a listing of their herd is sent to them on disk, and they can submit weights and manage their herd via AIMS and e-mail. AIMS is available only to American Angus Association members and affiliates. For more information or to order, contact the AIMS department at the address below or go to www.angus.org/aims

American Angus Association
AIMS Department
3201 Frederick Ave.
Saint Joseph, MO 64506
Email: aims@angus.org

Breeding Soundness Exam Research

Breeding soundness examinations (BSE) involve complete and systematic evaluations of the reproductive potential of breeding bulls. Performed by veterinarians, in many cases, a BSE serves as a general physical examination and inspection of genital organs and assessment of sperm production and quality. A BSE can garner important information before bull turnout allowing operations to make important management decisions. Currently, Kansas State University and the American Angus Association are working together to gather that BSE information from producers to explore whether or not a genetic predisposition surrounding failure rate is present. For members interested in participating, please download this excel sheet. More information about the project is located here. Please call or email with additional questions.


Calving and weaning

As your calves are born, it is important to weigh within 24 hours of birth using a scale and record the birth weight information on the Calving and Weaning Report. A calving ease score can be recorded on females calving. You will want to measure your calves' weaning weights when a group of them is near an average age of 205 days old. Weaning weights must be taken when an individual calf is between 120 and 280 days old. Once you have collected calving or weaning records, you will submit this information to the Association.

The Performance Programs department will process the calving and weaning information as part of the Association's database. The following items are available based on the customer preferences you choose for reports and summaries: a Weaning Summary that lists calves both by sire group and calf identification, a Yearling Report and an ultrasound barnsheet to record ultrasound information that is measured by a certified Centralized Ultrasound Processing (CUP) technician.

Proper contemporary grouping

Establishing proper contemporary groups is essential in providing accurate and predictable performance records necessary to generate EPDs. A contemporary group is a set of two or more calves of the same sex and similar age that have been managed under similar practices. Contemporary groups should include as many animals as can be accurately compared. For more information about contemporary groups, access the Association Web site at www.angus.org, or contact the Performance Programs department.

Mature cow size data

Cows should be measured for weight, hip height and body condition score within 45 days of weaning. Cows without body condition scores will not be used in calculating mature weight and height EPDs. Only cows that wean a calf will be included in the mature size database.

For more information about how to body condition score and a scoring table click here

Yearling measures

Measurements on all animals should be taken between 320 and 440 days of age to be adjusted to 365 days. The group should average as close to 365 days as possible. Enter those weights and measures (scrotal circumference, temperament, yearling height) on the Yearling Report, and submit to the Association.


Ultrasound

(Click here for Breeder Protocol)

These ultrasound images are collected by a UGC certified field technician between 320 and 440 days of age for bulls and 320 and 460 days for heifers. Weaning weights submitted prior to the scanning date are required to process ultrasound data. The ultrasound field technician sends the images to one of the American Angus Association's authorized ultrasound processing labs for interpretation by a UGC certified lab technician, along with the barnsheet generated when weaning weights are submitted. If you do not have a barnsheet, contact the Performance Programs department. The interpreted records from the scans are then sent to the Association for adjustments, EPD calculations and summaries that are provided to the breeders.

PAP Scoring

Pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) EPD is a tool to increase the environmental adaptability of cattle living at elevations at or above 5,500 feet. The EPD predicts the genetic differences in PAP score with lower EPDs being more favorable. PAP score is an indicator to help identify cattle with lower risk of developing high altitude disease, which in most cases results in right heart failure and eventual death. In order to collect viable PAP scores, cattle must be living at the test elevation for a minimum of four weeks before the PAP test is administered. This warm-up period allows for the cattle to adjust to the environmental settings, allowing accurate scoring. PAP EPD remains a tool to increase the environmental adaptability of cattle living at altitude and is not considered a solution to avoid congestive heart failure deaths at lower altitudes (i.e. feedlots) at this time. To learn more about how to support High Altitude Disease research, click here.

Foot Scoring

Proper foot structure is essential to an animal’s longevity, and Angus is leading the U.S. cattle industry in assessing an issue pertinent to all breeds — structural soundness. The American Angus Association accepts foot scores from its members through a simple system that uses two categories, foot angle and claw set. Members can collect foot scores once animals reach the yearling age collection window, 320-440 days of age. However, members are encouraged to score mature females. Multiple scores on the same animal can be used to predict both Claw Set and Foot Angle EPDs. To check on availability of a college student for on-site foot score collection, please click here

Download Foot Score Guidelines

For answers to frequently asked questions about Foot Angle and Claw Set EPDs click here

Hair Shed Scoring

Early hair shedding is an indicator trait for heat tolerance and tolerance to fescue toxicosis.  The American Angus Association accepts scores through the 1 to 5 scoring scale.  Members can collect hair shed scores once animals reach the yearling age collection window, 320-440 days of age.  Animals can be scored annually and those scores submitted to the Association.  Cattle should be scored when there is the most variation in the herd for shedding of the winter hair coat.  For scores to be included in the evaluation, cattle must be scored between April and July.  

Download Hair Shed Guidelines

For answers to frequently asked questions about Hair shed scoring click here

Teat and Udder Scoring

Teat and udder conformation are traits essential to a productive cow. Poor teat or udder quality may lower herd productivity and provides opportunity to cull females, and increase difficulty for a newborn calf to suckle. The American Angus Association accepts udder scores from members through a simple two category system, teat size and udder suspension. The teat size and udder suspension are scored on the same quarter but are scored independently on their respective 1 to 9 scales. Scores should be collected within 24 hours of calving. Dams can be scored at each calving.

For more information on Teat and Udder Scoring click here

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