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J Anim Sci. 2002 Jul;80(7):1801-8.

Purebred-crossbred performance and genetic evaluation of postweaning growth and carcass traits in Bos indicus x Bos taurus crosses in Australia.

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  • 1Cooperative Research Centre for Cattle and Beef Quality, CSIRO Livestock Industries, North Rockhampton, QLD, Australia.


Growth and carcass data on 7,154 cattle from a purebred project and 1,241 cattle from a crossbred project, comprising 916 first-crosses and 325 purebred Brahman controls, were analyzed to estimate genetic parameters, including the genetic correlations between purebred and crossbred performance (rpc). The data also allowed the estimation of sire breed means for various growth and carcass traits. Crossbred calves were produced using 9 Angus, 8 Hereford, 7 Shorthorn, 14 Belmont Red, and 8 Santa Gertrudis sires bred to Brahman dams. These same sires produced 1,568 progeny in a separate purebreeding project. Cattle in both projects were managed under two finishing regimens (pasture and feedlot) to representative market live weights of 400 (domestic), 520 (Korean), and 600 kg (Japanese). The traits studied included live weight at around 400 d of age (400W), hot carcass weight (CWT), retail beef yield percentage (RBY), intramuscular fat percentage (IMF), rump fat depth (P8), and preslaughter ultrasound scanned eye muscle area (SEMA). Estimated breeding values (EBV) of sires from their BREEDPLAN genetic evaluations were used to assess their value in predicting crossbred performance. Regressions of actual crossbred calf performance on sire EBV for each of the traits differed little from their expectation of 0.5. Angus sires produced crossbred carcasses with the highest P8 and lowest RBY but highest IMF. In contrast, crossbred progeny from Belmont Red sires had the lightest 400W and CWT, lowest P8, and highest RBY. Estimates of rpc were 0.48, 0.48, 0.83, 0.95, 1.00, and 0.78 for 400W, CWT, RBY, IMF, P8, and SEMA, respectively. Commercial breeders selecting sires for crossbreeding programs with Brahman females, based on EBV computed from purebred data, might encounter some reranking of sire's performance for weight-related traits, with little expected change in carcass traits.

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