Crossbreeding – A Guide to Excellence
The benefits of crossbreeding have been documented and reported time and time again. The advantages of breed complementarities and heterosis are real dollars in the pocket of commercial cattlemen. Breed complementarity is necessary to allow producers to take advantage of the differing strengths and weaknesses of each breed, since no one breed can excel at all economically important traits. Heterosis is the advantage of crossbred calves over the average of their parents. Heterosis is the closest thing cattlemen have to a “free lunch”. The best aspect of heterosis is that it has the greatest effect on traits that are lowly heritable and difficult to improve through selection.
Crossingbreeding….You Can’t Afford Not To
CALVING EASE….Maternal Excellence
All cattlemen agree more live calves at birth means more calves at weaning and less calving difficulty means higher breed-back rates. Data has confirmed that female’s bred to Shorthorn bulls calved 99.8% UNASSISTED and Shorthorn cross females calved unassisted 98% of the time. Calving ease does not have to mean small, slow-growing calves and growth does not have to mean excessive birth weights. Spend less time worrying and wean more kilo’s of calf by introducing Shorthorns into your crossbreeding programme.
American research has stressed that reproductive efficiency is 100 times more important to financial viability than carcass traits. Shorthorn bulls are aggressive breeders that will yield high conception rates with minimal maintenance. Data has proved that Shorthorn heifers have the second highest percentage reaching puberty by 360 days and the Shorthorn cross females posted the highest percent of calf crop weaned. This results in more saleable kilo’s at market time and more dollars in your pocket. In addition, the Shorthorn female is valued for her longevity and stay ability. Shorthorn females are well known for their ability to produce to the age of 13+, while maintaining their maternal superiority and both udder and structural soundness.
Profitability in cow/calf herds
Only 7 of 18 keys to profitability in cow/calf herds* relate directly to the genetic and breed choices you make. SHORTHORN genetics will positively influence all seven!
- Calving percentage – 95%
- Have cows calve in first 21 days of calving period
- Reasonable weaning weights
- Produce what the market demands
- Control feed costs
- Maximize hybrid vigor with crossbred cows
- Medium sized cows
*Presented at a Canadian beef conference
Traits like percent calf crop weaned, kilo’s weaned per cow exposed, cow longevity and cow lifetime productivity are vital.
HETEROSIS IMPROVES Lifetime Cow Productivity by 25%
- Cow Longevity
- Calf Survival
- Weaning Weight
- Yearling Weight
- Average Daily Gain
Only ONE breed offers all of this to your CROSSBREEDING system-
- Calving Ease
- Milking Ability
- Easy Finishing