Home Crop Monitoring All about Cross-Breeding

All about Cross-Breeding


Because the title suggests, Cross-Breeding entails the crossing of 1 breed of ruminants with one other. For instance: utilizing the male of 1 breed to mate the feminine of one other breed.

The purpose many of the instances is to enhance the standard of the animals being raised. For example, an animal might have good meat however poor milk manufacturing subsequently such an animal will be cross-bred with the one which has good milk manufacturing in order that the offspring can have each good meat and good milk manufacturing qualities.

Goal of Cross-breeding

  1. To reap the benefits of heterosis
  2. To make use of common breed results
  3. To design a cow herd
  4. To focus on markets
  5. Create breeding plan for a herd

Heterosis is outlined because the distinction within the worth of a trait in comparison with the typical worth of the dad and mom for the trait. For instance, if the typical worth for weaning weight of Breed 1 is 500 lbs. and the typical worth for Breed 3 is 600 lbs. and the ensuing calf crop after mating these two breeds averages 580 lbs., then heterosis for weaning weight is 30 lbs. or 5.5%. This further weaning weight is free since you did nothing greater than use a distinct breed.

Tables 1 and a pair of present that heterosis just isn’t constant from one breed to a different. Breeds which are extra genetically totally different (Brahman and Hereford) will exhibit extra heterosis than breeds which are extra genetically alike (Simmental and Limousin). The better the distinction in breeds, the better the impact.

Desk 1. Heterosis and Cattle Breed: Weaning Weights (%)
Breeds Hereford Limousin Brahman

Comerford, 1987.

Simmental 5.3 0.4 8.9
Hereford 4.2 9.9
Limousin 7.7

A second genetic impact in crossbreeding is the typical impact of a breed in crosses. It may be proven breeds could make a particular distinction in crossbred progeny, such a marbling in Angus cattle, ribeye dimension in Limousin cattle, and milk manufacturing in Simmental cattle. Sadly, this characteristic is usually over-emphasized in a crossbreeding program. The additive impact of a breed in crosses will usually have much less impact on the calf than the direct genetics for the trait handed from the mum or dad.

A phrase of warning

Simply since you mate cattle of various breeds doesn’t imply there shall be a big heterotic or common breed impact. Number of the dad and mom for his or her potential genetic contribution to a trait (known as the additive genetic impact) shall be extra necessary than heterosis or breed results. Using EPDs and different choice instruments inside a breed shouldn’t be discarded for the sake of heterosis. Heterosis won’t enhance poor cattle.

Tailored from Cundiff et al., 1994

Desk 2. Common heterosis within the economically necessary beef traits when crossing divergent breed sorts of cattle.
Particular person Heterosis
(Calf Efficiency)
Bos taurus X Bos taurus % Bos indicus X Bos taurus %
Tailored from Cundiff et al., 1994
Delivery Weight 2.4 11.1
Weaning weight 3.9 12.6
Put up-weaning achieve 2.6 16.2
Maternal Heterosis
(Cow Efficiency)
Bos taurus X Bos taurus % Bos indicus X Bos taurus %
Calving charge 3.7 13.4
Calf survival 1.5 5.1
Delivery weight 1.8 5.8
Weaning weight 3.9 16.0

Learn Additionally: Strategies to make use of in Cross-Breeding Animals

Cross-breeding improves extra lowly heritable traits

Heritability describes the proportion of the variation in a trait as a consequence of genetics as in comparison with the atmosphere (diet, well being, and so on,). Extra lowly-heritable traits-such as milk manufacturing, longevity, reproductive fitness-will lead to extra heterosis than extremely heritable traits equivalent to carcass traits. Desk 3 exhibits how necessary traits differ in heritability.

Desk 3. Heritability and Heterosis
Traits Heritability Heterosis
Copy low excessive
Progress medium medium
Carcass excessive low

An necessary characteristic of crossbreeding is maternal heterosis, which will be described because the benefit of the crossbred cow within the mating system. A evaluate by Reuter (2001) of a number of crossbreeding experiments confirmed that crossbred cows had a 9 p.c benefit in calving charge and an 8 p.c benefit in calf weaning weight over their straight-bred counterparts.

Cross-breeding provides consistency to a breeding program

A crossbreeding system should be a deliberate course of that takes benefit of breed results and heterosis or it turns into chaos. To successfully design a crossbreeding system, use these requirements:

  1. Design a cow herd that matches the atmosphere
  2. Use breeds for the cow herd which are comparable
  3. Use a terminal sire breed that matches the market
  4. Use a system that’s manageable over many generations

To design an efficient crossbreeding system, think about what number of breeding teams will be maintained on the farm, how bulls will be managed earlier than and after the breeding season, how alternative females shall be secured, what the requirements are out there (equivalent to coat shade), and if a singular trait (weaning weight for calves bought off the farm or marbling for calves retained by way of ending, and so on.) should be closely thought of.

Mating methods that may be successfully utilized in small cow herds are:

The Two-Breed Rotation

A single-breed cow herd is mated to sires of a second breed:

  1. Easy
  2. Cow herd is a single breed
  3. Just one breeding group
  4. Maximizes breed affect
  5. 15% improve in weight/cow uncovered
  6. No supply of replacements

Two-Breed Backcross

The crossbred progeny of two breeds are mated again to one of many parental breeds:

  1. Good use of breed results
  2. Two breeding teams
  3. Replacements produced
  4. Maintains good degree of consistency in calf crop
  5. Some inconsistency within the cow herd

Desk 4. Inconsistency of the cow herd in a 2-breed backcross system

Era 1: 50% breed A: 50% Breed B
Era 2: 25% breed A: 75% breed B
Era 3: 62.5% breed A: 37.5% breed B
Era 4: 81.25 breed A: 18.75% breed B
Era 5: 40.6% breed A: 59.4% breed B

Three-breed terminal rotation

Crossbred cows of two breeds are mated to a 3rd breed of sire:

  1. 20% improve in weight/cow uncovered
  2. Enhances the atmosphere for the cow herd and the marketplace for the calf crop
  3. No replacements are produced
  4. Very constant cow herd and calf crop
  5. One sire group

Cross-breeding can be utilized to develop a composite breed

The worth of a composite breed (mating crossbred dad and mom with the identical breed composition or mating specified crossbred feminine breed composition to specified crossbred sire breed composition) is to seize additive breed results and heterosis that complement each the atmosphere and the market. Composite progeny will be very phenotypically constant, which is a bonus within the market. There want solely be one breeding group, and replacements are produced in every technology in inter se matings. Composite breeds are most frequently used to handle particular environments, and this may be proven within the vital variety of composite breeds that use Brahman within the cross (Brangus, Santa Gertrudis, Beefmaster) to seize adaptability to sizzling environments whereas including different breeds to seize weight or carcass traits.

A phrase of warning

Composite breeds aren’t for everyone. There ought to be purpose to specify breeds within the composite, and the breeding program shall be a really long-term dedication. They’re solely efficient when maintained technology after technology. Including an outdoor breed to this system will diminish the outcomes and create extra variability within the progeny.

Crossbreeding is a crucial a part of the meat business due to the variation in environments and markets accessible within the US. It ought to be completed with particular targets in thoughts and with a long-term dedication.

by Dr. John Comerford

Associated: Anatomy of Fishes: Feminine Fish and their Reproductive Methods

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