Group Title: Mimeo report - University of Florida Everglades Experiment Station ; 61- 15
Title: Results from crossbreeding Brahman, Angus and Devon cattle on performance
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 Material Information
Title: Results from crossbreeding Brahman, Angus and Devon cattle on performance
Series Title: Everglades Station Mimeo Report
Physical Description: 8 leaves : ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kidder, Ralph W
Everglades Experiment Station
Publisher: Everglades Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Belle Glade Fla
Publication Date: 1961
Subject: Beef cattle -- Breeding -- Florida   ( lcsh )
American Brahman cattle -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Aberdeen-Angus cattle -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Devon cattle -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaf 8).
Statement of Responsibility: R.W. Kidder.
General Note: "April 14, 1961."
General Note: Caption title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067512
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 64637476

Full Text

Results From Crossbreeding Brahman, Angus and Devon Cattle on Performancei/
R. W. Kidder2/

Beginning with studies by Dr. A. L. Shealy in 1925, the University of
Florida has been involved continuously with the livestock problems in the
Everglades area. Organized research in Animal Husbandry at the Everglades
Station began in 1931 with the establishment of the Devon herd in cooperation
with the U.S.D.A, Since there were no previous experimental data for reference
and no assurance that this herd could be established permanently, a very com-
plete and detailed record was kept of the performance of these cows. Early
records included birth weights, weights of all cattle at 28 day intervals,
breeding dates, estrous and gestation records and notes on health of each

At the time the Devon herd was being established at the Everglades Station,
many Florida Cattlemen became interested in Brahmans and their adaptability to
the Florida climate. Hence, Brahmans were purchased by the Experiment Station
in 1944, and their growth performance recorded. The next step was to add the
record of first cross cattle, produced reciprocally, to the comparison. Back
crosses to both Brahman and Devon sires continued to show increase in growth
of the crossbreds over their purebred parents. However, at this stage of the
program a plan for further generations had to be established.

There were two factors which affected the breeding plan or experimental
design of the crossbreeding work at the Everglades Experiment Station. First,
Santa Gertrudis cattle were recognized officially as a breed by the United
States Department of Agriculture in 1940 (1). Second, the crossbreeding work
in Louisiana was reported by Drs.A. 0. Rhoad and W. H. Black (2, 3). In both
of these records considerable emphasis was placed on the superior performance
of crossbreds composed of 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 British breeding. Production
of this percentage of crossbreeding was established as the crossbreeding
program at the Everglades Station, using Devon and Brahman breeds of cattle.
A. Angus herd was acquired in 1948 and included in the crossbreeding program
with the Brahmans.

In the Everglades Station herd, sires and dams were available in both
Brahman and Devon breeds, hence, first cross cattle were produced from dams
of each breed. These first cross cattle were mated to sires of both parent
breeds. When the second generation crossbreds were sired by Devon, It. was
necessary to use a first cross sire to obtain cattle carrying 3/ imn.
and 5/8 Devon. When Brahman sires were used to produce second nerati-6h,
crossbreds, it was necessary to mate these 3/4 Brahmans to purbrd Devon .
sires to obtain the desired percentage of crossbreeding. T~ pln of
breeding is shown in Chart 1. '

I/ Beef Cattle Short Course, Univ. of Fla. (Apr. 20-21-22, i l)

/ Aimal. Husbandman, Everglades Experimert Statio ,"Belle Glad -Flor .

April 14, 1961

Everglades Station Mimeo Report 61-15


Devon Sire x Brahman Dam Brahman Sire x Devon Dam

B~bhian Sire Brahman- Devon Devon Sire

Devon Sire 3/4 Brahman 1/4 Brahman 1/2 Brahman
1/4 Devon 3/4 Devon 1/2 Devon

^: 3/8 Brahman x 5/8 Devon

Chart 1. Methods of mating Devon and Brahman at Everglades Experiment Station

Table 1. Effect of Breeding on Average 6
Livestock Experiment Farm, 1943

Months Weight of Calves

at Iberia

Number Average
Breed of sire Breed of Dam animals weight

Brahman Angus 114 368
Angus 1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Angus 105 441
1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Angus Angus 63 363
1/4 Brahman x 3/4 Angus 1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Angus 15 378
1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Angus 1/4 Brahman x 3/4 Angus 20 347

From Hhoad (2).

Results obtained at Iberia Livestock Experiment Farm are reported by Rhoad
(2) and by Baker (4). A few of the average weights at 6 months from these pub-
lications are shown in Tables 1 and 2. Rhoad did not include the weights of
Angus cattle in the comparison.

Table 2. Effect of Breeding on Average 6 Months Weight of Calves
Livestock Experiment Farm, 1950 (Ibs.).

at Iberia

Number Average
Breed of sire Breed of Dam Animals weight
Angus Angus 27 292.5
Brahman Angus 56 349.5
Angus 1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Angus 54 392.0
1/4 Brahman x 3/4 Angus 1/2 Brahman x 1/2 Angus 24 395.7
3/8 Brahan x 5/8 Angus 3/8 Brahman x 5/8 Angus 15 374.3
From Baker (4).

Baker (4) shows a statistically significant advantage in weight for age
of the crossbreds over the purebred Angus calves and also shows an increase
in weight of second generation crossbreds over the first cross cattle. Cross-
breds make good producing cows because they are larger than Angus and are
better adapted to the climate of the Gulf Coast.

Preliminary results from crossbreeding at the Everglades Experiment Sta-
tion were reported in 1952 (5) as shown in Table 3. In this record the female
weights were corrected to male equivalent by adding the factor 31 pounds.

Table 3. Mean Six Months Weight of Cattle in
to 1951 Inclusive, Adjusted to Male

Everglades Station Herd, 1945
Sex, Using Factor 31 Pounds

Number Average
Breed of sire Breed of Dam animals weight
Angus Angus 10 249
Brahman Brahman 21 355
Devon Devon 77 331
Brahman x Angus crosses
Angus Brahman 5 388
Brahman Angus 8 327
Brahman x Devon crosses
Devon Brahman 11 408
Brahman Devon 68 385
Devon Brahman x Devon 10 362
Brahman Brahman x Devon 8 375

From Mimeo Kidder & Chapman 1952 (5).

At first only growth records and conformation were used as criteria in
selecting individual crossbred sires within the percentage of breeding re-
quired by the plan. In many cases the appearance of the animal did not
indicate its percentage of crossbreeding. As bull testing or feeding trials
became available, these crossbred sires were included and the results used
as an aid in the selection of the crossbred sires. Those sires used, made
gain records of approximately 3 pounds per day in 140 day test periods.

Third generation crossbreds having 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Devon were mated
interse. Some animals having excellent conformation and growing ability were
produced. There were a few quite inferior cattle but most of the animals were
variable in size, conformation, color, disposition, and presented a general
lack of uniformity although they had good growing ability.


The Brahmar-Angus plan was similar to the Brahman-Devon except that all
of the first cross cows were bred to Brahman to get the 3/4 Brahman and then
back to Angus to obtain the 3/8 Brahman 5/8 Angus. There was a greater in-
crease in size of the 2nd generation over the first in the Angus crossbreds
tbhn in the Devon crossbreds and not so much variation in appearance in the
3rd generation as in the Devon.

With such a volume of records there was a real problem concerning what
these records really meant. It was Dr. M. Koger who suggested a way to find
the solution. These data could be coded for I.B.M. cards and the record
studied. The problem was assigned to Mr. H. V. Clum. Thus this herd produced
the pilot data for applying or adapting I.B.M. methods of analysis to records
of beef cattle breeding procedures (6).

The data which was thus produced indicated that both birth weights and
180 day weights were good measures of breed differences. The 180 day records
were variable due to sex, age of dam, month and year of birth. Corrections
were made for each of these 4 factors to produce acceptable measures of breed
differences at 180 days. Results of this study are presented in Table 4.

Table 4. Mean 180 day weight of calves adjusted for
of birth, month of birth (Ibs.).

sex, age of dam, year

Number Average
Breed of sire Breed of dam animals weight
Angus Angus 51 305
Brahman Brahman 52 320
Devon Devon 380 342
Brahman x Angus crosses
Angus Brahman 8 345
Brahman Angus 26 350
Brahman Brahman x Angus 15 410
Brahman x Devon crosses
D.von Brahman 12 374
Brahman Devon 96 391
Devon Brahman x Devon 54 388
Brahman Brahman x Devon 51 374
Brahman x Devon Devon 20 398
Brahman x Devon Brahman x Devon 65 361

From Clum 1956 (6). Data from 1932 to 1956.

Figures in Table 4 show plainly that the crossbred cattle at 180 days were
significantly heavier than purebred calves of the parent breeds (6). They also
showed that percentage of Brahman and British breeding was not a measure of
breed differences, because all of the crossbreds from 1/4 Brahman to 3/4 Brah-
man performed in a similar manner. However, those animals produced by mating

crossbred cows to crossbred sires were inferior to those produced by mating
crossbreds to purebreds of the opposite sex from either parent breed. While
slightly heavier than their purebred foundation breeds, the interse cattle
were not as heavy as the back crosses to purebreds. They exhibited a ten-
dency to revert back to the weight for age of their parent breeds.

As soon as this information became available the breeding program was
revised. The purebred Angus, Brahman and Devon herds were continued. Some
of the Brahman-Devon crossbreds were assigned to a rotation plan to be bred
to sires of the parent breeds in alternate generations. Others were bred to
selected crossbred sires of the same breeds in an interse program (7).

Table 5. Effect of breed on average weights of animals at various ages (Ibs.).

Breed Age of animals in months
12 18 24 36 48 60
Angus 389 541 602 711 804 941
Brahman 442 581 678 798 858 953
Devon 443 584 717 827 939 987
Brahman x Angus crosses
Brahman x Angus 487 625 776 832 808 ---
3/4 Bra x 1/4 Ang 488 598 700 980 -
Brahman x Devon crosses
Bra x Dev 528 688 842 919 1019 1054
3/4 Bra x 1/4 Dev 483 604 760 874 1115 1090
3/4 Dev x 1/4 Bra 519 656 820 938 1016 1215
3/8 Bra x 5/8 Dev 431 566 705 960 --- -

From Liddon 1957 ( 8). Data from 1932 to 1956.

While this plan was in progress the herd data were analyzed more com-
pletely by Mr. J. M. Liddon (8). This information, presented in Table 5
shows that the advantage in weight of crossbreds over their purebred parents
not only is evident at 6 months of age but continues at all ages.

When weight comparisons were made of all purebred cattle with all cross-
bred cattle, the crossbreds weighed the most at all ages. This data, pres-
ented in Table 6, shows that crossbreds were from 67 pounds heavier at 12
months to 126 pounds heavier at 5 years. The average advantage in weight
of all of the crossbreds over all of the purebreds was 13 percent.

Table 6. Comparison of average weight of all crossbreds with all purebreds
at various ages (Ibs.).

Breed Age of animals in months
12 18 24 36 48 6o
l.1 purebreds 437 579 698 805 908 962
All crossbreds 504 653 804 903 1012 1088
Advantage of crossbreds 67 74 106 98 104 126

From Liddon 1957 (8). Data from 1932 to 1956.

All of the Devon and Brahman-Devon crossbreds have been eliminated from
the Everglades Station herd. These were marketed in groups when the numbers
in each group had increased adequately for statistical interpretation of
resulting data. The problem of analyzing this data was assigned to Mr. J.H.
Meade, Jr.

Table 7. Least squares estimates of the effect of breed on 205-day weight.

Breed of sire Breed of Dam Breed Group No. Effect
Estimated mean 933 372
Angus Angus Angus 143 49
Brahman Brahman Brahman 67 42
Devon Devon Devon 171 23
Brahman-Angus Crosses
Brahman Angus F1 34 13
Angus Brahman
Brahman F1 Backcrosses 51 50
Angus F1
Brahman-Devon Crosses
Brahman Devon F1 82 25
Devon Brahman
Brahman Fl Backcrosses 106 27
Devon F1
Brahman Crossbred Rotation 102 21
Devon Crossbred Crosses
Crossbred Crossbred Inter-Se 177 3

Unpublished data from Meade 1S61. Data from 1950 to 1959.

A summary of some of the results of Meade's study is presented in
Table 7. In this study the records of cattle prior to the years when
crossbreeding was in progress were not included. This record includes
all of the cattle from 1950 to 1959. The data covers 933 animals whose
corrected average 205-day weight was 372 pounds. Table 7 shows the
number of cattle in each group and how the group average compared with
the herd average.

Reciprocal crosses were combined since they were found to be equal,
statistically. Only one group of crossbreds weighed less than the herd
average. These were the first cross between the Angus and Brahman. How-
ever, when these were backcrossed to either parent breed the resulting
progeny showed the greatest effect of any group. Cattle in all of the
parent breeds weighed less than the herd average.

As was shown in the earlier data, the weights of the interse matings
were approximately equal to the herd average which was statistically less
than the first cross or back crosses to either parent breed. Essentially
all of the calves in the herd were included in these records since the few
removals were those due to death losses.


Records have been presented af crossbreeding Brahman with Devon and
with Angus at the Everglades Experiment Station. These records include
all of the cattle produced from 1932 to 1959, however, the comparisons in
Tables 3 and 7 are limited to the years when those groups being compared
were in the herd at the same time. The growth rates of these groups of
cattle are remarkably similar to those reported by Baker. More recently
accepted methods of adjusting animal weights to correct for variable fac-
tors may account for some of the small differences.

Several conclusions are evident:

1. Crossbred cattle from Brahman and British breeds are heavier and grow
more rapidly than their purebred parents.

2. Crossbred cattle mated interse are heavier than the parent breeds from
which they originated but lighter than the cattle resulting from back
crosses to either parent breed.

3. A successful way to retain the size of the crossbred in successive
generations is to mate crossbred cows to sires of the parent breeds
in alternating generations.

4. Acceptance of such a breeding plan by commercial beef producers could
produce a continuing demand for good purebred bulls in all of the beef

5. Results given in this report included records for all of the cattle with
very little culling of breeding herds and herd replacements. Nutritional
needs and health control practices for the area were in the process of
development while these cattle were being produced.

6. The effectiveness of any breeding program should be greatly improved if
combined with a rigid selection for herd replacements, a ruthless
culling of the breeding herd along with the use of the most preferred
management practices available. These practices should include pro-
vision for approved health control measures and adequate nutrition,
both quantity and quality of feeds, forages and essential minerals.

Literature Cited

1. Clark, R. T., and Baker, A. L. Beef Cattle Breeds T.B. 1779 U.S.D.A.
Rev. 1940.

2. Rhoad, A. 0., and Black, W. H. Hybrid Beef Cattle for Subtropical
Climates. Cir. 673 U.S.D.A. 1943.

3. Phillips, R. W. Producing Better Beefsteaks, Yearbook of Agr. 1943-47.
U.S.D.A. (P. 61-70). 1947.

4. Baker, A. L., and Black, W. H. Crossbred Types of Beef cattle for the
Gulf Coast Region. U.S.D.A. Cir. Bul. 844. 1950.

5. Kidder, R. W. and Chapman H. L., Jr. A Preliminary Report of Weight
Performances of Crossbred and Purebred Cattle at the Everglades Experi-
ment Station from 1943 to 1951. EES Mimeo 1952 and Abs. Proc. Assn.
Sou. Agr. Workers 49: 56(1952).

6. Clum, H. V.. Genetic and Phenotypic Performance of Angus, Brahman,
Devon and Crossbred Cattle at the Everglades Station. Univ. of Fla.
Master's Thesis 1956.

7. Kidder, R. W. Producing Beef Cattle for South Florida. EES Mimeo
56-7. 1956.

8. Liddon, J. M. Environmental and Genetic Factors Affecting Growth Pat-
terns of Brahman,Angus, Devon and Crossbred Cattle. Univ. of Fla.
Master's Thesis 1957.

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