Decisions on Crossbreeding

Posted in Category(ies):  Tips

Cattle Breeding is about maximizing genetic gain for the selected traits. Also when crossbreeding hybrid vigor is a bonus. So how do we make best use of both? Lets look simply at EBI gain using a herd with current EBI of €100. This herd typically is looking at 4 choices:

  • Use Holstein/Friesian sires
  • Use Jersey Sires in rotation with HO/FR sires
  • Use Jersey/Hol cross sires (XBred or Kiwi Cross)
  • Use Norwegian red sires in rotation with HO/FR sires

Using the August 2013 proofs file on ICBF website the TOP 5 bulls in these categories have average EBI of €305 for HOFR, €261 for Jerseys, €255 for XBred, €178 for Norwegian Red

 

so what happens to our EBI 100 herd when we look at EBI and Hybrid vigor:

First Cross

HOL

Jer

Xbred

Nor

Sires Used

€300

€260

€255

€178

Resulting Herd EBI

€200

€180

€178

€170

Hybrid Vigor

€0

€100

€50

€100

EBI + HV

€200

€280

€228

€270

 

Long Term

HOL

Jer

Xbred

Nor

Sires Used

€300

€280

€255

€239

Resulting Herd EBI

€200

€190

€178

€170

Hybrid Vigor

€0

€66

€50

€66

EBI + HV

€200

€256

€228

€236

 

Note: For Jersey and Nor option 1/2 sires used are Jer or Nor and 1/2 are HO/FR Note: this is a simplified example using one generation to approximate what happens over multiple generations however the ratios hold true assuming similar rates of genetic gain for the different sire breeds

 

Results

Currently your best option for maximizing EBI and Hybrid Vigor is to use the very best Jersey sires. 

IF you exclude hybrid vigor Holstein/Friesian sires are the clear winner.

Using Cross Bred sires is the poorest option as the hybrid vigor is lower and the EBI of the sires is also lower than the best HO/FR bulls available.

Posted on Friday, 14 February 2014  |  By Progressive Genetics
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