Production characters of straightbred, F1 and F2 cows: birth and weaning characters of terminal-cross calves.
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Records of 2,449 births and 2,120 weanings of terminal-cross calves were used to characterize maternal productivity of first- and second-generation cows from a diallel of Angus, Brahman, Hereford, Holstein and Jersey when mated to third-breed sires. Third- and later-parity cows were randomly assigned after each parturition to Charolais and Red Poll bulls in multiple-sire pastures. Calves were weaned at approximately 7 mo of age; males were not castrated. A mixed model was assumed for data analysis. Effects included in the model were breed-type of dam, cow within breed-type of dam (random), breed of sire of calf, season of record, year of record, age of dam group, sex of calf and age of calf (covariate). Age of dam groups were 4- and 5-yr-olds, 6- and 7-yr-olds, 8-, 9- and 10-yr-olds, and those greater than 10 yr of age. Dependent variables were calf weight, shoulder width and hip width at birth, weaning weight, weaning height and survival to weaning. Holstein and Holstein crosses tended to produce the largest calves at birth and weaning. Among straightbred dams, the smallest calves were born to Brahman, whereas Hereford weaned the smallest calves. Brahman-Jersey dams produced the smallest calves at birth among crossbreds; Angus-Hereford cows weaned the smallest calves. Average maternal heterosis estimates for birth weight were small and non-significant. Calves of F1 crossbred dams were 17.4 kg heavier (P less than .01) and 1.70 cm taller (P less than .01) at weaning than calves of first-generation straightbred dams.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
author list (cited authors)
Sacco, R. E., Baker, J. F., Cartwright, T. C., Long, C. R., & Sanders, J. O.