Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 1973


Published in Journal of Animal Science, 37:676‑682. Copyright © 1973 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


To explore the potential of cattle to produce both milk and beef, the genetic aspects of beef production among Holstein-Friesian bulls pedigree selected for milk were studied. The data included growth records of 504 bulls (DPT) by 120 sires (SPT) pedigree selected for progeny testing by American Breeders Service, 1964 to 1971. DPT bulls with proofs had an average predicted difference for milk (PMD) of +180 kilograms. The daughter average was 7,273 kg per lactation under varying herd conditions. Sires accounted for 10% of the variation in average daily gain (ADG), 10% in daily gain per 100 kg body weight (DG/100) and 16% in body weight, indicating substantial genetic variability in beef traits. Sire variance components for beef traits varied with age. There were wide ranges in estimated breeding value (EBV) and estimated transmitting ability (ETA) for beef traits among DPT and SPT bulls, respectively. Ranking EBV among DPT bulls and ETA among SPT bulls for beef traits and selecting the top 10% and 20%, respectively, showed high selection differentials, empirically reflecting the potential for genetic improvement from selection.