Analysis & Evaluation

Evaluation makes a value judgement - is something good or bad? How good or bad? Is a value high or low? How high or low? Dairy cattle evaluation tools include classification, linear evaluation, genomic indexes, progeny testing, etc. Evaluation is an important way for dairy breeders to measure their progress in achieving their breeding goals.

Analysis is not the same as evaluation. Analysis looks at each animal’s unique form, regardless of how good or bad the animal may be, to determine what that animal needs or contributes in a mating.

Here are some important differences between evaluation and analysis:



Identifies which animals are good and measures, scores or rates how good they are.

Determines how animals are different regardless of how good or bad they may be.

Identifies problems and measures the extent or degree of the problem.

Looks at all parts and how they are formed and function together.

May evaluate single body parts independent of other parts.

Determines the causes of problems in order to help prevent the problem from recurring in the next generation.

Identifies the best cows to keep and the best bulls to use for breeding.

Guides the breeder in selecting a bull for each cow that will provide qualities she needs in a mating.

Ideals and standards vary from country to country and breed to breed.

aAa® Animal Analysis is consistent throughout the world for all dairy cow breeds.

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Using evaluation and analysis is not a matter of either-or.

The most successful dairy breeders use both. Evaluation helps determine the best cows to keep and the best bulls to use for breeding. Evaluation data is essential in choosing sires to help achieve your breeding goals. Analysis helps breeders make matings using the sires they choose in order to produce offspring with balanced form and function.