Cow-calf and feedlot performances of Brahman-derivative breeds

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A study was conducted to compare Brangus, Beefmaster, Gelbray, and Simbrah breed influences for economically important traits. Brangus (9), Beefmaster (12), Gelbray (10), and Simbrah (7) sires were used in purebred and crossbred (Brahman x Hereford F1 cows) matings to generate calves (326) in eight breed groups. Beefmaster cows were of similar size (448 kg), Brangus and Gelbray cows were 11% heavier (501 and 503 kg), and Simbrah cows were 21% heavier (548 kg) compared to Brahman x Hereford F1 cows (452 kg). Calves sired by Brangus and Beefmaster bulls had lower birth weights (35 vs 38 kg; P < 0.05), preweaning growth rates (0.87 vs 0.91 kg·d -1; P < 0.01), and weaning weights (206 vs 219 kg; P < 0.01) than Gelbray- and Simbrah-sired calves. Birth weights, preweaning ADG, and weaning weight and hip heights were similar between Brangus- and Beefmaster-sired calves. Simbrah-sired calves had greater preweaning growth rates (0.94 vs 0.88 kg·d-1; P < 0.05), weaning weights (227 vs 211 kg; P < 0.01), and adjusted 205-d hip heights (126 vs 122 cm; P < 0.05) than Gelbray-sired calves. Straightbred Angus steers were introduced in the postweaning portion of the study. Steer calves were placed on feed at an average age of 14.5 mo. Steers were removed from the feedlot upon attaining a targeted 10 mm of backfat. Feedlot ADG did not differ among sire breeds. Brahman-derivative sired steers required an additional 54 d on feed (P < 0.01) and were 86 kg heavier (P < 0.01) at harvest than Angus steers. Continental-Brahman steers spent an additional 25 d on feed (P < 0.05) and were 35 kg heavier (P < 0.01) at harvest than British-Brahman steers. Simbrah-sired steers were 52 kg heavier (P < 0.01) at harvest than Gelbray-sired steers when fed for a similar number of days (211 vs 203 d). However, straightbred Simbrah steers required an additional 12 d on feed (P < 0.01) and weighed 47 kg more (P < 0.01) than Simbrah-sired crossbred steers. The economic value of the heavier calf weaning weights may be offset by the attendant larger cow size of the Continental-Brahman compared to the British-Brahman breeds. Similarly, the heavier weights of Continental-Brahman compared to British-Brahman steers, when harvested at a prescribed level of fatness maybe viewed as a benefit, but the increased number of requisite days in the feedlot is a disadvantage. ©2002 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Animal Science

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