Animal Science Department

 

Date of this Version

December 2002

Comments

Published in J. Anim. Sci. 2002. 80:3133–3141.

Abstract

Data from Angus, Hereford, and topcross cows (n = 641) from 2- to 8-yr-old daughters of seven breeds of sires included in Cycle II of the Germplasm Evaluation Program at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, comprising cow weight (CW, n = 15,698), height (CH, n = 15,676), and condition score (CS, n = 15,667), were used to estimate breed-group differences. Data were recorded in four seasons of each year (1975 to 1982). The mixed model 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 covariate. The model for CH excluded PL. Random effects were additive genetic and permanent environmental effects. Differences among breed-groups were significant for all traits at different ages and were maintained across ages, with few interchanges in ranking through maturity. Cows were ranked (by breed of sire) in the following order for weight: Red Poll (lightest), Hereford-Angus (reciprocal), Braunvieh, Gelbvieh, Maine Anjou, and Chianina (heaviest). In general, cows sired by breeds of British origin were lighter and shorter than those of continental origin. Differences in weight due to differences in condition seemed to be of small magnitude because making an adjustment for condition score did not affect rankings of breed groups across ages. Differences among breed groups for height were consistent with differences for weight. Cows from Chianina sires were taller than Hereford-Angus cows by 14 to 15 cm across ages. In this study, breed of sire effects were significantly different for the mature size of their daughters.

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