Use of crossbreeding with beef bulls in dairy herds: Effect on age, body weight, price, and market value of calves sold at livestock auctions

TitleUse of crossbreeding with beef bulls in dairy herds: Effect on age, body weight, price, and market value of calves sold at livestock auctions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsDal Zotto, R., Penasa M., de Marchi M., Cassandro M., Lopez-Villalobos N., and Bittante G.
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume87
Issue9
Pagination3053 - 3059
Date Published2009
ISBN Number00218812 (ISSN)
KeywordsAge, Age Factors, analysis of variance, animal, animal husbandry, Animals, article, Beef and dairy breed, Belgian Blue, body weight, Bos, Calf, cattle, Commerce, commercial phenomena, Crossbreeding, economics, female, Friesia, hybridization, Hybridization, Genetic, Least-Squares Analysis, male, Market value, methodology, physiology, Pregnancy, regression analysis
Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different breeds and breed crosses on age (AC, d), BW (kg), price (PR, $/kg), and market value (MV, $/calf) of purebred and crossbred calves sold for veal and beef production. The Kovieh wholesale cattle organization (Bolzano, Italy) grouped calves from several dairy herds located in the Trentino-Südtirol region in Italy and sold them by public auctions. Data on AC, BW, PR, and MV from 96,458 calves were recorded from January 2003 to December 2007 and consisted of 4 pure breeds [2 dairy, Brown Swiss (BS) and Holstein-Friesian (HF); and 2 dual-purpose, Simmental (SI) and Alpine Grey (AG)], and 8 crossbreds by crosses of Limousin (LI) and Belgian Blue (BB) with the 4 dam breeds. Least squares means for AC, BW, PR, and MV were calculated for breeds and breed crosses with a model that included fixed effects of herd of birth, age (except for AC), sex, and breed of the calf, year and season of auction, and interactions between the main effects. The coefficients of determination of the models were 0.41, 0.51, 0.84, and 0.82 for AC, BW, PR, and MV, respectively. Sex, age, and breed were the most relevant sources of variation for BW (P < 0.001), whereas breed and sex were the most important sources of variation for AC, PR, and MV (P < 0.001). Also, PR and MV were significantly influenced (P < 0.01) by all the effects included in the model, except for season × age interaction in the case of MV. Market value of male was greater (P < 0.001) than that of female calves, with the exception of BS (-$28.76/calf) and HF (-$20.70/calf) purebred males. Dual-purpose purebred calves presented greater (P < 0.001) PR and MV than dairy purebreds (MV of $426.97/calf and $307.96/ calf for SI and AG, and $256.24/calf and $275.65/calf for BS and HF, respectively). Calves from SI and AG dams had greater (P < 0.001) BW, PR, and MV than calves from BS and HF dams. Calves from SI cows had greater (P < 0.001) BW, PR, and MV than calves from AG cows. Crossbreeding with beef bulls increased (P < 0.001) BW, PR, and MV of calves from dairy and dual-purpose dams. Crossbreeding with BB bulls increased PR (+$2.58 ± 0.04/kg; P < 0.001) and MV (+$190.84 ± 3.62/calf; P < 0.001) of calves much more than LI. The use of beef bull semen on dairy herds resulted in an economic revenue from selling crossbred calves. © 2009 American Society of Animal Science.

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