Purebreeding with sexed semen and crossbreeding with semen from double-muscled sires to improve beef production from dairy herds: Live and slaughter performances of crossbred calves

Riccardo Negrini, Giovanni Bittante, Matteo Bergamaschi, Qianlin Ni, Nageshvar Patel, Hugo Toledo-Alvarado, Alessio Cecchinato

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

Abstract

The use of sexed semen to produce purebred replacement heifers allows a large proportion of dairy cows to be mated to beef sires, and quantitative and qualitative improvements to be made to beef production from dairy herds. The major dairy and beef breeds are undergoing rapid genetic improvement as a result of more efficient selection methods, prompting a need to evaluate the meat production of crossbred beef × dairy cattle produced using current genetics. As part of a large project involving 125 commercial dairy farms, we evaluated the combined use of purebreeding with sexed semen and crossbreeding with semen from beef sires, particularly double-muscled breeds. A survey of 1,530 crossbred calves revealed that, whereas purebred dairy calves are destined almost exclusively for veal production, beef × dairy crossbred calves are also destined for beef production after fattening on either the dairy farm of birth or by specialized fatteners. In veal production, compared with Belgian Blue–sired calves (taken as the reference), double-muscled INRA 95–sired calves had a lighter slaughter weight (303 vs. 346 kg), but a greater dressing percent (62.3 vs. 58.4%). Limousin (also known as Limousine)–sired calves had a smaller average daily gain (1.26 vs. 1.34 kg/d), and lighter slaughter (314 vs. 346 kg) and carcass weights (182 vs. 201 kg). Last, Simmental-sired calves had a similar growth rate, but lighter carcass weight (177 vs. 201 kg), smaller dressing percentage (55.3 vs. 58.4%), and smaller muscularity scores (3.25 vs. 3.72). In the case of young bulls and heifers fattened on the dairy farm of birth, Belgian Blue–, Piemontese (also known as Piedmontese)-, and Limousin-sired calves performed similarly; the only exception was that Piemontese-sired calves had a greater dressing percentage. Belgian Blue– and Limousin-sired calves performed similarly when fattened by specialized beef producers. In both veal and beef production, the effects of dam breed were less important than sire breed. Considering the entire project, we can conclude that the combined use of sexed semen for purebreeding and conventional beef semen for terminal crossbreeding improves meat production from dairy herds, especially when the sires are double-muscled beef breeds.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)3210-3220
Numero di pagine11
RivistaJournal of Dairy Science
Volume104
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021

Keywords

  • beef breed
  • carcass muscularity
  • carcass trait
  • dairy breed
  • X-sorted semen
  • Animals
  • Semen
  • Farms
  • Female
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Male
  • Meat
  • Red Meat
  • Cattle

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