Advantages of Cross-Breeding

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With regards to the Advantages of cross-breeding, As earlier said on my last article, it helps in improving the qualities of animals being cross-bred. Also, it helps to retain certain desirable traits on the farm. With improved qualities and traits on the farm, the farmer gets more returns on the farm.

In addition, if properly done, cross-breeding do confer better immunity on the offspring’s. For instance, crossing local breeds with exotic breeds will make the offspring stronger because of the local breeds as well ass adapted to the weather condition here and could survive better.

Interest in crossbreeding has been steadily increasing. Commercial producers want to know what to expect when crossing two or even three breeds together. However, crossbreeding is not an exact science. Research is being conducted to help predict the outcome of crossbreeding.

Cross-breeding Advantages

•The opposite of inbreeding – hybrid vigor (heterosis) is real

•Fitness traits (i.e. fertility, calving ease, stillbirths etc.) tend to have the greatest benefit from hybrid vigor

•Opportunity to increase components of milk-beneficial in component milk pricing schemes

See also: All about Cross-Breeding, Disadvantages of Cross-Breeding

The advantages cross-breeding in dairy cattle

The major advantage of crossbred dairy cattle is that they exhibit the strengths of all breeds from which they descend with an added advantage of heterosis. Heterosis tends to be most important for lowly heritable traits such as fertility and survival.

The performance for a particular crossbred for a trait will be a combination of the breed merit for that trait of the breeds which make up the crossbred and the heterosis for that trait which is expressed in the crossbred.

That combination can be higher than the breed merit for that trait of the superior breed in the crossbred’s makeup.

Rotational crossbreeding plans, particularly with three breeds, can maintain substantial heterosis, but maintaining a rotational crossbreeding program requires careful record keeping and planning.

One should be aware when crossbreeding that with early generations of crosses, there may be considerable diversity with regard to size, body condition, and other traits, depending on the breeds utilized.

Benefits of crossbreeding depend on good sire selection within the pure breeds, just as purebreds depend on within-breed selection for genetic improvement.

Meanwhile, As commercial cow-calf producers evaluate the opportunity to expand, it is important to review the value of crossbreeding.

The advantages of crossbreeding are well documented and can have a big impact on your net return. Heterosis (hybrid vigor) and breed complementarity are the primary benefits realized from a properly planned crossbreeding program.

Heterosis is the increase in performance or function above what is expected based on the parents of the offspring. Breed complementarity allows a breeder to capitalize on the strengths of different breeds because no single breed excels at all of the traits that affect profitability.

Maternal Heterosis

Maternal heterosis is the advantage realized by using a crossbred cow versus a straight-bred cow. Research has shown that crossbred cows can have many advantages, including a 6 percent higher calving rate, a 4 percent higher calf survival rate, an 8 percent increase in efficiency, a 38 percent increase in longevity and a 23 percent increase in lifetime productivity.

These advantages will be optimized when the breeds and individuals you select to create the crossbred cow fit your resources and goals.

Breed Complementarity

Another advantage of crossbreeding is the opportunity to capitalize on breed complementarity. This involves evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of potential breeds and selecting those that complement each other. The result should be an animal that has the best traits of those breeds.

Common examples include the Black Baldie (Angus x Hereford), Brangus (Angus x Brahman) and SimAngus (Simmental x Angus), as well as many other combinations. The traits that are most important to you should be based on the goals of your operation.

Direct Heterosis

Direct heterosis is the benefit observed in a crossbred calf. On average, these advantages include a 4 percent increase in calf survival, a 5 percent increase in weaning weight and a 6 percent increase in post-weaning gain. However, these effects are greatly influenced by breed.

Related: Anatomy of Fishes: Female Fish and their Reproductive Strategies

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