An overview of crossbreeding in beef cattle with reference to the Southern African situation

Author: A. Theunissen, M.M. Scholtz & F.W.C. Neser
Year: 2013
Issue: 1
Volume: 6
Page: 18 - 21

An increasing number of commercial beef producers direct themselves to crossbreeding systems in which crossbred animals have higher merit in reproduction, growth and end product. It has been claimed that heterosis in a sound crossbreeding program could increase the productivity in the beef cow herd by as much as 26% over a comparable straight breeding program. The availability of diverse beef cattle breed resources with large adaptive and production differences allow the breed types to be matched to different environments, management levels and markets. By utilizing breed differences the opportunity for high productivity and profitability can be maximized. The improved indigenous (Sanga) and indicus (Zebu) derived beef breed genotypes will probably have the highest potential to produce red meat sustainably in Southern Africa. It is believed that crossbreeding will gain more importance in the region as climate changes stands to affect the African continent substantially. The region is in short supply of across-breed breeding values and the utilization of crossbreeding in beef production is not properly planned and largely ineffective

Keywords: multi-breed evaluations
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