0 o Agricultural Research Center, Ona -
Mimeo Series Report 71-9 April 7, 1971
---'--C-----QI NATIVE PERFORMANCE OF VARIOUS BEEF BREEDS
HU IIE BRRA I
HUM LIBRARY AND CROSSES IN FLORIDAV
5 i371 F. M. Peacock, M. Koger, W. G. Kirk,
1E. i. Hodges and A. C. Warnick2/
I.F.AS. Univ. of Florida
Research in beef cattle breeding was begun at the Range
Cattle Station in 1942 with the purchase of a few Brahman cows
and a Shorthorn bull. Superiority of the crossbred calf and
product of the crossbred cow led to the initiation of a cross-
breeding breeding project in 1952 on Shorthorn, Brahman and
their crosses under three forage systems representing three
nutritional levels. Research on grading up Charolais and comp-
arisions between the Charolais, Brahman, Angus and their crosses
was initiated in 1959 and 1962, respectively.
The grading up program on the Charolais was to obtain relative
data on percentages of Charolais breeding when graded up from a
Brahman and Shorthorn base. Results for five years on weaning
performance of calves from these breed combinations are given
in Table 1.
1/ Presented at Beef Cattle Short Course, Nay 5-8, 1971,
2/ Associate Animal Husbandman, Range Cattle Station, Ona;
Animal Geneticist, Animal Science Department, Gainesville;
Agronomist, Range Cattle Station, Ona; Animal Physiologist,
Animal Science \ Department, Gainesville.
Table 1. WEANING WEIGHT AND ADJUSTED DAILY GAIN (AGE OF DAM AND
SEX) OF CALVES SIRED BY CHAROLAIS BULLS FROM COWS OF
Wean 205-day Adjusted
Breed of Cow Weight Weight Daily Gain
7/8 Charolais-1/8 Brahman 545 550 2.48
3/4 Charolais-1/4 Brahman 529 525 2.34
1/2 Charolais-1/2 Brahman 593 554 2.53
Brahman 511 494 2.19
1/2 Charolais-1/2 Shorthorn 492 445 2.06
Shorthorn 443 407 1.80
These results show the Charolais to cross better with Brahman
females than Shorthorn. Without having the straightbred Brahman
comparison in this study, heterosis in the Charolais-Brahman F1
product cannot be determined. However, the response of the product
of the Fl cow up to and exceeding that of calves with higher
percentage of Charolais shows heterosis being expressed in
mothering ability of the F1 Charolais x Brahman cow. The same
reasoning exists with the Charolais x Shorthorn cross, but the
comparatively low preweaning gains of this cross indicates no
The interesting aspect of this study was that calf perfor-
mance did not materially decline when level of Charolais blood
reached 7/8ths and 15/16ths. These data indicate, for weight, the
probability of the Charolais being used in a straight breeding
program without having to resort to crossbreeding to maintain
Charolai s Brahman and Angus.
This study was designed to evaluate the relative productivity
of the Charolais, Brahman, Angus and their crosses. The study
was set up for two phases; phase 1, to utilize the three breeds
to produce straightbreds and reciprocal crosses and phase 2, to
evaluate relative production of the F1 females when back crossed
to a parental breed and also when bred to sires of the third breed.
The breeding season was from March 1 to June 15 with calves
being weaned the first week in September.
A summary of four years production of phase 1 is given in
These data show that within the Angus and Brahman sire groups
all crossbred calves were heavier at weaning and gained faster
than the straightbreds.
Data from the Charolais sire group showed the Charolais-
Brahman productto be average for weight gain between the 15/16
Charolais and straightbred Brahman calves. Weight gains of
Charolais x Angus calves were lower than average for the two
parental breeds, with no indication of heterosis being present
for this trait. The 15/16 Charolais-1/16 Brahman calves gained
.55 pound per day mort than the Charolais x Angus and .27 pound
more than the Charolais x Brahman calves.
The Brahman x Angus product exceeded both straightbred
parents for weight gain, exhibiting the highest degree of heterosis
in this study.
Table 2. FOUR YEARS PRODUCTION OF CHAROLAIS, BRAHMAN AND ANGUS
COWS WHEN BRED TO SIRES OF THE THREE BREEDS.
Breed of Slaughter Feeder Wean 205 day Adjusted
Dam Grade Grade Weight Weight Daily Gain
Angus 9.8 11.6 376 329 1.48
Brahman 9.9 11.3 440 416 1.84
1/4 Brahman 10.6 11.8 493 459 2.02
1/8 Brahman 10.0 11.9 483 413 1.83
Angus 10.1 11.2 463 435 1.92
Brahman 8.6 10.3 420 421 1.80
1/4 Brahman 10.0 11.2 535 490 2.15
1/8 Brahman 9.5 11.0 468 442 2.04
Angus 10.5 12.0 472 406 1.80
Brahman 9.9 11.4 520 474 2.08
1/4 Brahman 10.1 11.8 578 514 2.23
1/8 Brahman 9.4 11.9 593 543 2.35
REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF COWS
Cows Calve % Wean % Death loss
Angus 77.4 73.7 4.85
Brahman 77.5 75.2 3.00
3/4 Charolais 88.1 86.9 1.35
7/8 Charolais 82.5 80.7 2.13
CI_ _II _ _~ ~
Reproduction data show the Brahman and Angus cows to be
lowest for calving percent and highest in death loss of calves.
Reproduction from straight breeding was satisfactory but problems
occurred with the Angus on Brahman, Brahman on Angus and Charolais
on Angus. This behavior cannot be explained and is probably due
to chance. Death loss of calves from Angus cows occurred with
all sires with Brahman sired calves having the highest death loss.
S thrthorn, Brahman and their Crosses.
This study was designed to evaluate the comparative production
of Shorthorn, Brahman and various crosses of these two breeds on
pasture management systems which maintained the cattle on low,
medium and high nutritional levels. Pasture management systems
were native (1), improved plus native (2) and grass-clover
The herds on each of the forage programs included approximately
60 cows, including five breed groups as follows: 10 Brahman (B),
10 3/4 Brahman-1/4 Shorthorn (B3), 20 Brahman-Shorthorn first-
crosses (F1), 10 1/4 Brahman-3/4 Shorthorn (B1) and 10 Short-
horn (S). The trial was conducted in two 5-year phases. During
the first phase the B, B3 and one-half of the F1 cows were mated
to Brahman bulls while the remaining groups were mated to Short-
horn bulls. During the second phase, breed of sire for the
different cow groups was reversed from that of the first phase.
The cattle on all programs were bred in a restricted season
of 105 days extending from March 15 to July 1. All calves were
weaned at one time during the first week in September. Breed of
calf x program, adjusted for phase, are combined for this pre-
sentation. Calf production data are given in Table 3.
Wean weight, 205 day weight and production per cow are rela-
tive enough among calf breed groups for this discussion to be
confined to production per cow. Production per cow was derived
by combining weaning percentage and weight.
These data show a distinct drop in production when Brahman
and Shorthorn breeding in the calf exceeded 3/4ths. Breeding
Shorthorn cows to Brahman instead of Shorthorn bulls resulted
in 20 percent increased production. Breeding Shorthorn bulls
to Brahman cows increased production 9 percent over the straight-
bred Brahman product. Back crossing the 3/4 Brahman-1/4 Shorthorn
cows to Shorthorn instead of breeding to Brahman bulls increased
production by 22 percent. A 24 percentage increase was obtained
when the 3/4 Shorthorn-1/4 Brahman cows were mated to Brahman
instead of Shorthorn bulls.
Heterosis was present in all traits measured with the higher
amount being in the product of the Fi first cross cow. Level of
heterosis for production was 13 percent in first cross calves
( all calves nursing straightbred dams), 52 percent for the
product of F1 cows and 50 percent for the product of the F1 cows
plus all 3/4 blood cows when back crossed.
Breed of dam effects on production showed the F1 cow to be
highest followed by the 3/4 Brahman--l/4 Shorthorn, 3/4 Shorthorn-
1/4 Brahman, Brahman and Shorthorn cows in last place.
Brahman bulls were slightly more productive than the Short-
horn, for 205 day weight, wean weight and production per cow.
LEAST SQUARES MEANS FOR BREED OF CALF, BREED OF SIRE,
BREED OF DAM AND HETEROSIS EFFECTS FOR EACH OF FIVE TRAITS.
Breed of calf
B x B (1)
B x B3 (2)
B x F1 (3)
B x B1 (4)
B xS (5)
S x B (6)
Sx B3 (7)
S xF (x) 2
S x B1 (9)
Sx S (10)
Breed of sire
Breed of dam
Calves, Fl cows
Calves, FI cows
+ 3/4 cows
2.1 11.6 24.9
__ ._ __I~---LI-C--~-LIC--
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Shorthorn bulls sired calves that carried more condition at weaning
than did Brahman.
Summary and Conclusions
Research data on grading up Charolais from a Brahman base,
straight breeding and crossbreeding the Charolais, Angus and Brahman
breeds and production of Shorthorn, Brahman and various crosses
of the two breeds have been presented.
This research shows the Charolais to maintain growth in the
calf up to 15/16ths Charolais. This indicates the probability of
its being straightbred to a higher degree than results have shown
for the Brahman and British breeds before crossbreeding becomes
necessary. There was no indication of heterosis for growth when the
Charolais was crossed with Shorthorn and Angus cows. Further study
is necessary before heterosis for weight in the F1 Charolais x
Brahman product can be determined, but was expressed as mothering
ability in the Fl first cross cows. The 7/8 and 3/4 Charolais
cows used in this study weaned the heaviest calves within each sire
group. Heaviest weaning and 205 day weights were calves sired by
Charolais bulls from the 7/8 and 3/4 Charolais cows.
Heterosis was present in the Brahman x Angus crossbred calves.
Production per cow in the Brahman and Shorthorn study was highest
for the Fl cow and lowest for the Shorthorn with the Brahman next
Level of heterosis for production per cow in the Fl product was
13 percent and for the product of the Fl, 52 percent (wean percent
and wean weight combined).
Level of heterosis for production in the product of all the
crossbred cows, including the Fl, 3/4 Brahman-1/4 Shorthorn and
3/4 Shorthorn-1/4 Brahman cows when back crossed, was 50 percent.
These data support the practice of the criss-cross breeding system
with Brahman and British bulls.