It is VERY IMPORTANT to record performance groups when sending weights to the Society. Performance groups basically separate any animals that have been handled in a way different to that of the norm. The direct comparison only of animals which have had like treatment is one of the most important aspects of calculating EBVs. Analysis is done in these like-treated groups, called management or performance groups. If the groups were either not correctly set up, or were not declared, EBVs will be less accurate and possibly misleading. It is also important, to ensure records from all animals in a group are submitted
The norm is your standard, common management practices for your cattle on your farm. Whether this norm is “grazing with a lick” or “grazing plus mielie rests” is dependant on the farm or the farmer himself and is irrelevant to the calculation of EBV’s. However, any animal receiving any treatment different to this common practice (i.e. a few animals receiving additional supplementation etc.) is VITALLY IMPORTANT and must be indicated. Only like treated animals should be directly compared
Examples of possible Performance Groups are:
- SHO – show fed animals (or any animals fed on a higher plane of nutrition than the others)
- CR – Creep fed calves (as opposed to calves only receiving milk)
- NM – No mother (if calf orphaned and not fostered)
- SIC – Animal sick prior to weighing
…. And so on.
You can create your own codes as you need them, however, it is important to remember to not create unnecessary groups as this complicates matters and decreases the ability for strong comparisons to be made. Performance group codes must be 3 digits or less. They are of the UTMOST importance to ensure that the EBV’s calculated reflect the true situation and NOT a skewed representation.