South African Journal of Animal Science

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Breeding objectives for Angus and Charolais specialized sire lines for use in the emerging sector of South African beef production

M D MacNeil, L E Matjuda


Breeding indigenous cows to terminal sires may facilitate production of calves in the emerging sector that better meet commercial feedlot requirements. Thus, the objective of this research was to develop breeding objectives for Angus and Charolais terminal sires to be used in breeding Afrikaner, Bonsmara, and Nguni cows. An aggregated simulation model that is reliant on user inputs for the phenotypic characterization of the germplasm and economic characterization of the production environment was developed. Relative economic values were calculated by approximating partial derivatives of simulated profit with respect to economically relevant traits. Correlations among the breeding objectives calculated from simulations of Angus and Charolais bulls bred to Afrikaner, Bonsmara and Nguni cows were consistently > 0.9. Thus, an average index could be used for all six scenarios with little loss of selection efficiency. On average, relative emphasis given to breeding values for survival, direct weaning weight, postweaning daily gain, postweaning daily feed intake, dressing percent, and fat depth were 31.1, 31.0, 17.3, 1.4, 19.1, 0.2%, respectively. These breeding objectives may be viewed as an appropriate step in the evolution of multi-trait selection to facilitate poverty alleviation among cattle producers in the emerging sector through wealth creation resulting from their production of calves for industrial feeding.

Keywords: Beef cattle, genetic evaluation, selection strategy, crossbreeding, cow-calf production system

South African Journal of Animal Science Vol. 37 (1) 2007: pp. 1-10
AJOL African Journals Online