Production Characters of First Generation Cows of a Five-Breed Diallel: Reproduction of Mature Cows and Preweaning Performance of Calves by Two Third-Breed Sires
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The fourth through sixth parity of 5- to 10-yr-old cows were used to evaluate trade-offs involved with sires of large mature size vs medium mature size in a terminal sire crossbreeding program and to characterize five breeds and their crosses for their potential as dam lines. Charolais and Red Poll bulls, representing large (L) and medium (M) mature size, respectively, were mated to cows representing Angus (An), Brahman (Br), Hereford (He), Holstein (Ho) and Jersey (Je) and their crosses (reciprocals pooled). Cows were randomly assigned for mating to either an L or M bull for each breeding. Size of calf sire did not influence (P greater than .10) the subsequent calving interval of cows. Calving intervals for the straightbred (SB) dairy breeds (Ho and Je) were longer than for SB An and He, but the difference did not exist among the respective crossbred (CB) cows. As a group, Br crosses had shorter intervals than the other CB groups. Crossbred cows exhibited intervals that were 16 d shorter (P less than .05) than SB. Calves sired by L bulls were larger (P less than .01) and faster gaining (P less than .01) for all measures of size and growth studied, but exhibited lower (P less than .01) survival rates to weaning than M-sired calves. Calves of CB dams were 1.5 kg heavier (P less than .01) at birth than calves of SB dams and slightly greater (nonsignificant) hip and shoulder measurements were observed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
author list (cited authors)
McElhenney, W. H., Long, C. R., Baker, J. F., & Cartwright, T. C.