It is well recognized that straight bred Brahmans are an extremely important part of the beef industry but there is also tremendous benefits of using Brahmans in well-structured crossbreeding programs.
There is a huge potential for Brahmans to lift the productivity and profits of beef herds through cross breeding. Crossing Brahmans with the numerous varieties of British and European breeds, nevertheless requires planning and additional skills to maximize the benefits of crossbreeding.
A main benefit of crossbreeding is hybrid vigor.
“The benefits of crossbreeding depend on the breeds used and the production environment.”
The greater the difference in the strain of cattle, the greater the hybrid vigor and potential benefits of crossbreeding. The maximum benefits of crossbreeding are achieved by the selection of acceptable dominant traits and not simply relying on species difference alone.
The advantages of crossbreeding include:
- higher conception rates
- higher percentage calf drops
- heavier calves at weaning
- earlier sexual maturity
- higher milk production
- increased longevity
- earlier conception in the breeding season.
“The best results of cross breeding depend on the selection of compatible high quality straight breeds.”
Crossbreeding research has shown that first cross cattle (eg. Brahman x Angus) perform well in the challenging pasture production systems. It has also been clearly demonstrated that F1 cattle perform extremely well in feedlots.
“Implementing a cross breeding program that is practical and profitable is extremely rewarding.”