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Cows/Cattle/maintaining heterosis


Karin wrote at 2014-11-06 21:40:30
Part One Question:

1) They'd be F2's. F1 stands for "first falil" or "first generation" when parents of purebreeding that each have two different strains or breeds are bred together and get a consistent result with the offspring showing both characteristics of each parent. In this case, it's the white face of the Hereford and the black coat of the Angus. When you breed two F1's you get a 25% chance of getting an Angus-type calf, a 50% chance of getting a black-white face calf, and a 25% chance of getting a Hereford-type calf. Presence of horns make matters more complicated, so I'll just stick with colours, but essentially, no matter the colour, there's a 75% chance horns will not show up with an F1xF1 breeding, but a 50% chance offspring of this breeding will pass on the horn characteristic.

2) Decrease. You only get heterosis when you breeding Angus to Hereford. It decreases if you go F1 to F1.

3) It might increase, but not by much. You're more likely to increase heterosis a little further--but again, not a whole lot--if you throw in an entirely different breed to get a three-way cross. Most breeders maintain that heterosis is only maintained by going three-way or, with two-way cross-breeding, you breed opposite to what the F1 heifer's sire was.

Part Two (Follow-Up)

It all depends on what you want your crossbreeding program to be, whether you're keeping replacements, or whether you're wanting to sell all calves at the end of every production year. Option 1) is good if you are wanting to sell all calves for beef production. Option 2) is good for keeping replacement heifers. Option 3) is good for the same reason as Option 1).

Remember: You want uniformity and consistency, not a box full of crayons.  


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Eileen DuJardin


I can answer most types of cattle questions, primarily beef types. Genetics, breeding, basic care, herd health and management, and showing. I'm knowledgeable in forages and feeding. Non emergency health and soundness questions. I am not a veterinary, and can't answer critical care questions. Call your local large animal vet for that service.


I've been a registered cattle breeder for over 20 years. My husband and I run a 250 acre cattle ranch in Texas. I've raised dairy cattle, commercial cattle, and registered and show cattle. I'm on our county Beef and Forage committee.

American Simmental Association. American Brahman Breeders Association. Falls County Beef and Forage Committee. Texas Farm Bureau

Associates Degree in computer science.

Awards and Honors
Many ribbons and placings in cattle showing, with most recent being: 2011 Fort Worth Stock Show, Senior Champion Simmental, and Houston Livestock Show Reserve Champion Senior Simmental.

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