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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: BREED COMPARISONS OF WEIGHT, WEIGHT ADJUSTED FOR CONDITION SCORE, HEIGHT AND CONDITION SCORE OF BEEF COWS

Authors
item Arango, Jesus - UNIV. OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN
item Cundiff, Larry
item Van Vleck, Lloyd

Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 2003
Publication Date: March 1, 2004
Citation: ARANGO, J.A., CUNDIFF, L.V., VAN VLECK, L.D. BREED COMPARISONS OF WEIGHT, WEIGHT ADJUSTED FOR CONDITION SCORE, HEIGHT AND CONDITION SCORE OF BEEF COWS. PROFESSIONAL ANIMAL SCIENTIST. 2004. 20:15-26.

Interpretive Summary: Daughters of 22 breeds of sires (Angus, Hereford, Jersey, South Devon, Simmental, Limousin, Charolais, Red Poll, Brown Swiss, Maine Anjou, Chianini, Gelbvieh, Brahman, Sahiwal, Pinzgauer, Tarentaise, Shorthorn, Galloway, Longhorn, Nellore, Piedmontese, and Salers) were compared for differences for weight (CW, n = 56,731), height (CH, n = 51,407) and condition score (CS, n = 56,371) as 2 to 8 yr-old cows. The data were from the first four cycles of the Germplasm Evaluation Program at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. These breed comparisons for mature height, weight and body condition score between purebred (Angus and Hereford) cows and cows from crosses of Hereford and Angus dams with the 22 breeds of sire confirmed what has been documented in the literature - that a variety of biological types of cattle exists for beef production. This diversity provides for great flexibility or in matching breeding systems and cattle genotypes to a wide range of production systems, environmental and managerial conditions, and specific market demands to optimize efficiency of beef production.

Technical Abstract: Breeds were compared for differences for weights (CW, n = 56,731), heights (CH, n = 51,407) and condition scores (CS, n = 56,371) of 2 to 8 yr-old cows from four cycles of the Germplasm Evaluation Program at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. Angus, Hereford and topcross cows from 22 breeds of sires were produced. The mixed model for repeated measures included cow age, season of measurement and their interactions, year of birth, pregnancy-lactation code (PL) and breed group as fixed effects for CW and CS. Analyses of weight adjusted for condition score included CS as a covariate. Model for CH excluded PL. Random effects included additive genetic and permanent environmental effects. Differences among crosses were significant for all traits. In general, cow weight, within cycle, was greater for cows sired by breeds of large size and low milk production (Chianina and Charolais) than for those of large size and moderate milk (Maine Anjou, Salers and Shorthorn) and those of moderate size and low milk production (Angus, Galloway, Hereford, Longhorn and South Devon). Cows by breeds of sire of moderate size and moderate milk production (Pinzgauer, Red Poll and Tarentaise) were even lighter. Cows with Jersey sires stood out among all breed-groups because of light weight. Cows with sires of British origin tended to be lighter than those of continental European origin. Cows with Bos indicus sires (Brahman and Nellore) ranked between breeds of large and breeds of moderate size. In general, adjustment for condition score did not alter rankings of breed-groups for differences in cow weights. Differences among breed groups for height closely followed differences for cow weight.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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