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Excellent reviews of cattle breed comparisons or breed-cross comparisons have been previously reported by Franke (1980), Long (1980), and Marshall (1994). However, these reviews do not contain information on the calving ease, performance, carcass characteristics, or beef palatability of crossbred progeny of Holstein dams sired by different beef breeds. In many countries dairy females are commonly mated to beef sires; however, in the United States the use of this practice is somewhat limited. Nevertheless, some United States dairy production schemes utilize beef sires on surplus Holstein heifers and cows. Also, some large commercial dairy operations purchase replacement heifers from outside entities, thus permitting optional breeding schemes for some dairy females in their herds. Finally, in the near future, information on crossbred progeny of Holstein dams sired by different beef breeds could become particularly useful if semen and embryo sexing technology becomes practical, allowing for selective matings to generate dairy replacement heifers, thereby freeing other Holstein females to produce terminal progeny. From a genetic and economic standpoint, the crossing of beef bulls to Holstein females could result in improved utilization of existing genetics and an untapped alternative source of business for beef and dairy producers alike. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to 1) compare the birth, weaning, feedlot, and carcass characteristics of progeny from the matings of Holstein females with different beef sire breeds and 2) suggest possible research needs that warrant further consideration.

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