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QUESTION: Hello after watching several bred cattle sales this winter and seeing F1 black baldy heifers consistently topping the sale over straight black Angus type heifers by $150 per head I have been thinking...
1.  These F1 (black Angus X polled Hereford) baldy heifers bred to another F1 (black Angus X polled Hereford) baldy bull what would you call those calves they cant be F1's can they?
2.  Would you increase, decrease or maintain heterosis if you had F1 bulls of the same breeds as the heifers/cows?
3.  Would you increase, decrease or maintain heterosis if you had F1 bulls of different breeds (say Simmental X Red Angus) as the heifers/cows say (black Angus X polled Hereford)?

thanks so much for your insight!

ANSWER: Good morning,

Wow.. you have been doing your research and pondering breeding decisions!  Good for you!  

I'm not sure where you're located geographically, so my opinions about your questions are going to be based on where I'm at, which is Texas.  

While black baldies also "top the sales" here in Texas, there is another factor that we consider for our breeding decisions, which is heat tolerance.  The best "momma cows" in Texas are going to be a F1 mating that includes at least 1/8 of Brahman influence.  So when you say "F1" to me, I'm picturing either a "tigerstripe", which is Hereford / Brangus, or Brahman/ Hereford, or a black "earred" cow, which can be many different matings, but with some sort of Brahman influence in the background.

Your best cross for heterosis is the the first mating, which creates the F1.  Most breeders here will put a purebred back on the F1 cows to maintain that vigor.  So with the "tigerstripe" cows, putting an Angus or Simmental back on the cows is optimum.  You don't want to breed back to an F1 anything with Brahman influence, or the calves will have too much "ear", which totally will get them docked at the auction barn.

In answer to your question, no, if you put a F1 bull on F1 cross cows, the calves are no longer the F1.  Not the best breeding decision either in my opinion, because the traits your looking for in the F1 cross can totally come out wrong when you put two F1's together.  I'm not saying it's unthinkable, just not my first choice.

I raise purebred cattle, primarily for breeding stock, but over the years I've had commercial cattle as well.  The last option you suggested has always made the best calves. And here in Texas, as I'm sure with where you're at also, black hides always top the sale.

Good questions!  Hope this helps.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your response. We are up in South Dakota so cold tolerance is a bigger deal here ha ha.  Its a balmy 11 degrees F right now and was above freezing for three consecutive days this week for the first time since last November I think.  
Anyways if i understand you correctly on these F1 (Black Angus x Polled Hereford) cows/heifers i would rank these options in this order let me know if you agree generally speaking
1.  breed to a purebred bull not Black Angus or Hereford
2.  breed to a purebred Black Angus or Polled Hereford
3.  breed to a hybrid bull like SimmAngus or Balancer (Gelbvieh X Angus)
I appreciate your help


Well I am a little partial to Simmentals.. since that's what I raise, so my first choice would be put a good Simmy back on those cows!  They come in baldy's too.. so you can try and perpetrate that on the calves.  With the Angus and Hereford cross your F1 ones will be stout, so really any good Exotic would work.  

And I would switch the last two options.. breeding back to a SimAngus or Balancer would be better than back to an Angus or Hereford.

Good luck!  I feel for you in that cold!  I grew up in Northern Illinois, and couldn't wait to get to Texas!  It was in the 70's over the weekend.  Eat your heart out!!



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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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