Plus Two Equals Five
Vigor, also known as heterosis, is a marked increase
in performance and output that can be achieved through crossbreeding.
It is equivalent to 2 + 2 = 5. Although hybrid vigor is not totally
free, it’s as close to free as we’re ever going to
get. Hybrid vigor has a significant effect on growth and performance,
but its greatest effect is on fertility, doability and longevity.
Therefore, a crossbred cow has huge economic advantages over a
Here is an analogy
that might make this concept a little easier to understand. Straight
breeding (Angus x Angus) is like depositing money in a checking
account. What you put in is exactly what you can take back out.
On the other hand, crossbreeding is like depositing money in a
savings account. Not only can you take out what you put in, you
will also take out some accrued interest (hybrid vigor).
Breed Complementarity is
another positive factor that can only be achieved through some
form of crossbreeding. This involves taking the positive traits
that exist in two different purebreds and putting them together
in a crossbred animal. In other words, the traits of one breed
will complement the traits of another breed when they are combined.
A crossbred range
cow should be 50% to 100% English (Angus, Hereford, Red Angus)
breeding. She should never be over 50% Continental (Tarentaise,
Gelbvieh, Simmental) breeding. Since some continental breeds are
not maternal in nature they should seldom, if ever, be used to
produce replacement heifers.
that seem to perform the best in the feedlot and on the rail will
be 50% to 75% English breeding and 25% to 50% Continental breeding.
Although 100% English bred calves cannot compete with continental-cross
calves for cutability, they excel in the white table cloth market,
as well as the grass-fed beef market.
ranchers need to be working with a crossbred cowherd,
because they cannot afford to give up the advantages of hybrid
vigor and breed complementarity. However, managing an effective
crossbreeding system requires some forethought and discipline.
You can’t just buy the cheapest bulls that meet your basic
color requirements. Take time to make a plan and then stick with
Pharo Cattle Company
can provide all the genetic ingredients for a successful cross-breeding
system. This sale has a great selection of Angus, Red
Composite bulls to choose from. We are a no-nonsense seedstock
producer who has always selected for efficient, moderate-sized,
maternal cattle. Our cows run on short native grass year-round
with minimum supplementation.
simple. If you would like the advantages of hybrid vigor
and breed complementarity without all the problems and headaches
involved in managing a crossbreeding system, you might consider
using our Composite bulls. Traditional crossbreeding requires
all cows to be identified and sorted into different breeding
pastures to be bred by bulls of different breeds. For many this
requires too much time and management. Most crossbreeding systems
will also produce a lack of uniformity because calves are sired
by two or more different breeds of bulls.
| Composite bulls enable you to run your
entire cowherd together with one set of bulls, if so desired. Record
keeping and sorting can be minimized. This also makes it possible
for you to implement a rotational grazing system.
Our Composite bulls
can simplify your breeding system, as well as move your program
in the right direction. They’re 50% to 75% English breeding
and 25% to 50% Continental breeding, and they can be either red
or black in color.
out our Composite Bulls on the Next Several Pages.