Reproduction phase (Phase A1)

  • All calves born in a herd, including still born calves and abortions, should by recorded on the birth notifications in the prescribed format. These birth notifications should be submitted within 30 days, or as prescribed by the particular breeders’ society, for recording on the INTERGIS.

  • The following weights shall be accepted:
      • Calf weight at birth (within 3 days after birth) (optional)
      • Cow weight at the start of the mating season (optional)
      • Cow weight at the end of the mating season (optional)
      • Cow weight after calving (within 7 days after calving) (optional)
  • Birth weights should be recorded to the nearest 1 kg on a scale that can weigh accurately to the nearest kg.
Beef Cattle Improvement Scheme
Animal Recording and Improvement

 

Suckling phase (Phase A2)

  • The following weights shall be accepted:
    • Pre-wean weight of calf (optional, age 51 to 150 days, with a maximum of 100 days age difference between the oldest and youngest animal in the specific contemporary group);
    • Wean weight of calf (compulsory, age 151 to 250 days, with a maximum of 100 days age difference between the oldest and youngest animal in the specific contemporary group);
    • Cow weight (optional, at weighing of calf for weaning weight). 
  • The weights of all animals that were not sold or died must be determined to at least the nearest 5 kg.
  • All animals of a specific contemporary group should, as far as possible, be weighed on the same day. If certain animals have to be weighed on a separate date, the period between weigh dates should be limited to the minimum (preferably within five days).

On-farm recordings (Phase B)

  • The following weights shall be accepted:
    • 12 months weight (optional, age 271 to 450 days, with a maximum of 100 days age difference between the oldest and youngest animal in the specific contemporary group)
    • 18 months weight (optional, age 451 to 634 days, with a maximum of 100 days age difference between the oldest and youngest animal in the specific contemporary group).  

  • The weights of all animals that were not sold, dead or included in another post wean phase should be determined to at least the nearest 5 kg.

Central performance tests (Phase C)

Standardised tests at ARC test centres (Phase C1) & Standardised tests at private test centres (Phase C2)

Non-standardised central tests at ARC or private test centres (Phase C3)

Testing period:

  • Phase C1 & C: Bull calves shall be tested under standardised conditions for a period of 84 days following an adaptation period of 28 days.
  • Phase C3: The test shall last for a minimum period of 56 days for heifers and 84 days for bulls and a maximum of 140 days (with 7 day increments) following an adaptation period of 28 days.

Diet:

  • Bull calves shall be fed a standard, complete growth diet comprising at least 20 percent roughage.

Feeding regime and management:

  • Bull calves shall be individually fed ad lib during the test period.
  • On arrival bull calves shall be treated against internal and external parasites and, if necessary, skin diseases.
  • Bull calves shall be spray-dipped regularly.
  • Bull calves shall be fitted with neck belts to which their transponder and pen number shall be attached.
  • A veterinarian shall examine the bulls regularly and be available in all cases of diseases and emergencies.

Performance records and observations:

  • The weights of the bull calves shall be recorded on arrival and thereafter at weekly intervals.
  • Growth rate shall be indicated by means of average daily gain during the test period.
  • Individual feed consumption shall be recorded in order to evaluate the feed conversion ratio. Feed conversion ratio shall be expressed as of kg feed consumed per kilogram live weight gain.
  • A series of body measurements (shoulder height, body length, skin thickness and scrotal circumference) shall be taken of each bull calf at the end of a test. Functional appearance scoring shall be done on a series of traits.
  • Any point of interest relating to the general condition and health of the bulls shall be recorded.
  • Each bull shall be examined for any defect or abnormality. In the event of any defect or abnormality a report will be presented to the owner and the breed society concerned.

Results:

  • Each owner shall be issued with an end-of-adaptation and mid-test report on the live weight and general condition of his bulls.
  • Each owner and breed society shall be issued with a final report at the end of a test. Final results shall include average daily gain over 84 days (ADG) and index, average daily gain per day of age ADA (without index), feed conversion ratio (FCR) and index and various body measurements with an evaluation of functional appearance scores.
  • Performance certificates shall be awarded to bulls according to the minimum standards ( create link to Attachment H) set by the Advisory Committee and each bull shall be branded accordingly on the left shoulder.
  • Bulls, which complete Phase C growth test and do not meet the minimum performance standards ( create link to Attachment H) set by the Advisory Committee shall be sent directly to the nearest abattoir or be castrated.

On-farm performance tests (Phase D)

Single herd tests (Phase D1) &

Multiple herd tests (Phase D2)

  • The adaptation period could vary between 21 and 90 days depending on the growth rate and test procedure. The adaptation period shall be short for intensive and single herd tests and longer for extensive and multiple herd tests. During the adaptation period the bulls should be fed the same diet as during the test period and should gain weight before the test could commences.
  • Phase D tests shall last a minimum of 84 and a maximum of 270 days after termination of the predetermined adaptation period. A minimum average gain and growth rate during the test period is required, per breed, as stipulated in the following table:
BREEDMINIMUM GAINMINIMUM ADG
Afrikaner, Brahman, Dexter, Nguni, Sanganer, Tuli90 kg400 g
Bonsmara, Boran, Braford, Drakensberger, Galloway, Limousin , North Devon, Red Poll, Beef Shorthorn, Sussex110 kg500 g
Beefmaster, Brangus, Hereford, Huguenot, Pinzgauer, S A Angus, Santa Gertrudis, Simbra120 kg550 g
Braunvieh, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Romagnola, Simmentaler, South Devon130 kg600 g