Michael G. Keane



growth rate cross bred cattle productivity breed types cattle breeding dairy cows birth weight subcutaneous fat cattle beef breeds gastrointestinal tract holstein friesians united kingdom breeding cows

Ranking of Sire Breeds and Beef Cross Breeding of Dairy and Beef Cows (2011)

Abstract SummaryThere is general agreement across countries on the ranking of beef breeds for production and carcass traits. Differences between dairy and early maturing beef breeds in growth and slaughter traits are small, but the latter have lower feed intake and better carcass conformation.Late maturing beef breeds also have lower feed intake and better carcass conformation and in addition, have a higher growth rate, kill-out proportion and carcass muscle proportion. When factors such as age and fatness are accounted for, differences between breeds in meat quality traits are small.Differences amongst breed types in kill-out proportion can be explained by differences in gut contents (consequent on differences in feed intake), differences in the proportions of gastrointestinal tract and metabolic organs, differences in hide proportion, and differences in offal fats. Growth is an allometric, rather than an isometric, process. Some parts, organs andtissues grow relatively more slowly than the animal overall, and so become decreasingproportions over time, while others grow relatively faster and become increasing proportions.With increasing slaughter weight, the proportions of non carcass parts, hind quarter, bone, total muscle and higher value muscle decrease, while the proportions of non carcass and carcass fats, fore quarter and marbling fat all increase.Because of heterosis or hybrid vigour, the productivity of cross-bred cattle is superior to the mean of the parent breeds. While calving difficulty may be slightly higher (probably due to greater birth weight), calf mortality is much reduced in cross-breds. In addition, generalrobustness and growth rate are increased. There are additive effects of heterosis in the dam and the progeny. When cross-bred cows are mated to a bull of a third breed, >60 % of total heterosis is attributable to the cross-bred cows.The double muscling phenotype in beef cattle is due to the inactivated myostatin gene, but the inactivating mutation is not the same in all breeds and other genes also contribute to muscling.Compared to normal animals, double muscled animals have lower proportions of digestivetract, internal fats and metabolic organs. This explains their superior kill-out proportion.They also have a smaller hind shin that helps accentuate the muscling in the remainder of the 4 limb. There are similar degrees of muscular hypertrophy in both the hind and fore quarters.Muscle to bone ratio is about one third greater in double muscled than in normal carcasses.Piedmontese cattle with none, one or two mutated myostatin alleles were compared withnormal Herefords and Limousins. In the absence of any mutated allele, Piedmontese were similar to Herefords, with one mutated allele they were similar to Limousins and with two mutated alleles they were immensely superior to Limousins. In fact, the response to the second mutated allele was about three times that to the first. If progeny approximated to the mean of the parent breeds, crossing a double muscled sire with a dairy or early maturing beef cow would result in cattle of similar characteristics to pure-bred late maturing beef breeds.This does not happen because double muscling is dependent on a homozygous myostatingenotype. The progeny of a common cow breed and normal late maturing, or double muscled,sire breeds have similar production traits.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> AGRIP End of Project Reports
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Livestock Systems
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Teagasc End-of-Project Reports
Ireland -> Teagasc -> AGRIP End of Project Reports
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Animal & Grassland Research & Innovation Programme
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Teagasc End-of-Project Reports

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Michael G. Keane

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Michael G. Keane
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