In the Mountain West, commitment to customers means a commitment to providing genetics that reduce or eliminate the challenges that come from Bovine Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAP). It is estimated that losses to “Brisket Disease” in this region can add up to thousands of head per year. On an individual herd basis however, losses can reach 25% in extreme circumstances especially with herds who push much higher altitudes in the summer. Even though most of these losses are realized above 6,000 feet, there can be significant negative effects to the health of the animals from Brisket Disease even below 5,000 feet, no matter the sex of the animal.
At T-Heart Ranch you will find PAP scores on every bull (each is tested twice), every dam, and most grand-dams and great-grand-dams. It is crucial to understand what PAP scores mean when purchasing bulls or females. First, the data is clear that PAP scores must be taken above 5,000 feet to show the adaptability of individuals in regards to their cardiac health. The higher the altitude tested, the greater the reliability of the test and insurance of a repeatable result. A 41 mmHg PAP score or lower seems to be the magic value at lower elevations. When more reliable tests are performed at higher elevation, you can adjust that figure by about 1mmHg/1,000 feet of elevation. So, an animal that scores 41 at 5,000 feet, would most likely score a 44 at the 7,800 feet base of T-Heart Ranch. A 39 score at T-Heart Ranch could only be matched by a score of 36 or less on the plains with lower elevations. Scores are very important for making bull decisions. However, it takes generations and thousands of evaluated PAP scores to make genetic progress.
T-Heart Ranch strives to continue to obtain low PAP scores throughout their entire herd. When you add that level of confidence to the fact that these cows make a living up to 12,000 feet each summer, customers know they can count on T-Heart Ranch High Altitude Genetics as their best insurance against losses.