Herd Sire Selection: Calving Ease

When looking for a herd sire, another important trait could be calving ease. Calving ease should include the following qualities: Bull’s own birth weight/CED EPD.

  • Head shape.
  • Shoulder width and slope.
  • The depth of body and front shoulders.
  • Hip width.
  • Maternal characteristics.


Selecting a calving ease herd sire can be easier if you know the following EPD terms that appear on registration papers for Angus and Hereford Bulls.

EPD (Expected Progeny Difference). A prediction of the variability between animals for a given characterization.

CED (Calving Ease Direct). Calving ease score predicting the ability of first-calf heifers to calve easily. Includes all of the above characteristics.

BW (Birth Weight). Actual scale weight of calf born.

BW EPD  Prediction of the weight for this bull’s calves based on sire and mothers performance.


The seller should be able to show you data on the mother (dam) and father (sire), as well as explain what it means. In most cases, the CED and BW EPD’s are more accurate in predicting potential calving difficulty than the actual birth weight of the calf.

Keep in mind that:

Each cow the bull is bred to will contribute 50% of the calving ease or difficulty to your future calves.

If you breed too much calving ease into your herd, you will eventually wind up with a lot of calving difficulty.

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