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beef, breed evaluation, rotational crossbreeding, preweaning


Cow size, reproductive traits and calf performance through weaning were evaluated in a range environment for Simmental (S) x Hereford (H) and Angus (A) x H crosses in two-breed rotations and straightbred H. Data were grouped into seven dam breed categories: straightbred Hereford (H), crossbred F1 S x H cows (SH), S x H cows of low percentage H (SHS), S x H cows of high percentage H (HSH), F1 A x H cows (AH), A x H cows of low percentage H (AHA) and A x H cows of high percentage H (HAH). Hereford, SH, AH, SHS and AHA cows were mated to H bulls, HSH cows were mated to S bulls and HAH cows were mated to A bulls. Simmental-cross cows were heavier and taller and produced heavier calves at birth and weaning than A-cross or H cows. Pregnancy rate, calf preweaning survival rate, calf birth date and percentage of difficult births did not vary significantly among dam breed groups. Within the A x H and S x H rotations, dam breed group rankings for calf birth weight were inverse to rankings for proportion of H in the breed makeup of the calf. However, in comparisons of SHS vs HSH and AHA vs HAH dam breed groups, calf average daily gain to weaning averaged higher in matings where H was the sire breed (dams were of lower percentage H). Evaluation of different breed groups within the two-breed rotational crossbreeding systems suggested acceptable compatibility of both S with H and A with H in rotational breeding systems with regard to mature size and calving difficulty.

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South Dakota State University


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