Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can aAa® be used by crossbreeders or grazers?
Yes! aAa® looks at the same patterns of form and function in all cattle breeds, so it can easily be used with any breeding or crossbreeding program.
Improving the form and function of a purebred herd with aAa® may be another option for breeders who turn to crossbreeding to solve problems such as difficult calving or inability to maintain body condition on forage.
Extreme cows may lack the ability to function in specific situations. Balanced cows that are free from extremes are more able to function in a variety of management environments.
Many grazers find that aAa® helps them maintain the balance between cows that are "too round to milk" and "too sharp to live" in a grass-based management system.
Q: Is there a way to know how much a bull possesses or sires a certain aAa® number?
We do not evaluate to what degree a bull possesses or sires his aAa® number qualities. A high quality, balanced bull contributes more qualities to a mating than he asks the cow to contribute. Using extreme or poor quality bulls, especially on extreme cows, can lead to inconsistent and disappointing results even when using aAa®.
Q: Do I need to keep many different bulls in my tank to use aAa®?
No! Some aAa® users actually find they use fewer bulls after adding aAa® to their breeding program. Because aAa® looks at the way all body parts are formed and function together, it is easier to choose bulls with the aAa® numbers your cows need than to look at many separate linear evaluation criteria. The aAa® Use Made Simple spreadsheet allows aAa® users to make accurate aAa® matings for their entire herd using as few as 8 different bulls.
Q: Why are aAa® numbers sometimes reviewed and changed?
aAa® analyzers do their best to predict how young animals will develop as they mature. aAa® qualities can bee seen in heifers and young bulls, but it may not be clear yet where functional problems will occur. For example, legs and feet do not usually fail until a cow approaches full mature weight. Udder structures do not fail until they are under the stress of milk production.
Many aAa® users have yearling heifers analyzed before first breeding, then have the aAa® numbers reviewed once they are fresh and fully mature. Most often the aAa® numbers do not change upon review, but sometimes the order of the numbers may change. This can also be true of young bulls as they mature.
Q: Are aAa® and Weeks® the same thing?
aAa® and Weeks® are identical. The aAa® service mark is used in North America, Australia & New Zealand; the Weeks® service mark is used in Europe and Japan.