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Calving Ease (CE) Score Charts

National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB)
Scoring System for Calving Ease:

1: No problem
2: Slight problem
3: Needed assistance
4: Considerable force
5: Extreme difficulty

Calving Ease Score Chart (CE)
Beef Improvement Federation (BIF)
recommended Calving Ease scores

From these data, expected progeny differences (EPDs) for calving ease direct and calving ease maternal, can be calculated. Scores of 5 should not be included in any formulas or evaluations, though, because abnormal presentations (backwards, breech, etc.,) are not believed to be heritable either as a trait of the calf or of the dam.

According to the BIF, several studies done at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), Clay Center, Nebraska, Colorado State University, and the Miles City, Montana, Experiment Station, all proved that calving difficulty is influenced by many factors, however, the dam's age had the most profound effect on the incidence of dystocia, citing, "first-calf, 2-year-old heifers represent the greatest source of trouble to the beef herd owner. Difficulty in 2-year-olds is three to four times as high as in 3-year-olds, and 3-year-olds have about twice as much difficulty as 4-year-olds. By the time a cow reaches 4 to 5 years of age, dystocia problems are minimal." Birth weight of the calf was the next trait most highly correlated with calving difficulty. Bulls that sire smaller calves are the safest to use on heifers; birth weight is moderately heritable (h2 = 0.37).


U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA)
Calving / Stillbirth report scale:
(used for single births)

1: calf born alive
2: calf born dead
3: calf died within 48 hours of parturition


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a Bucking V Outfit, LLC. enterprises, est. 1990
Maricopa County, Arizona
©2020 published online by Vintage Press, LLC.

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