Scientific Farm Animal Production

Biology

Quiz 24 :

Beef Cattle Breeds and Breeding

Quiz 24 :

Beef Cattle Breeds and Breeding

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Discuss the role of crossbreeding and the various protocols to implement a crossing system.
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All cattlemen resort to some method of cross breeding in their herd. When two contrasting varieties of cattle are brought together for mating it is called cross breeding. Cross breeding is carried out in to improve the performance of beef cattle.
Role of cross breeding : There are two main returns of cross breeding. Firstly, it generates heterosis. Heterosis is also known as 'hybrid vigor'. It means an improvement in any biological aspect of the animal. Heterosis is an enhancement in the traits achieved due to blending of genetic material from both parents.
Heterosis is said to be achieved if the performance of the offspring turns out better than individual parents.
Secondly, cross breeding sets in breed complementarity. No breed of cattle is perfect in all its traits. Each breed has some negative traits. By cross breeding the positive traits of one may conceal the negative traits of the other. Thus, giving rise to a cattle totally free of problems.
Certain protocols that need to be considered by the breeder, while cross breeding are as follows:
1) The producer should go for breeds which are available within a radius of 150 miles.
2) The cattlemen should select the breed which has an excellent record of breeding.
3) The combination of the breeds should also be carefully decided.
4) Breeds selected should be such that they complement each other.
5) The productive characteristics should be looked at in detail.
6) The cattlemen should always remember that the statistics just reflect the breed average. And individual performance can be below or above average.
7) One should also consider that average rankings of the breed can change as per the improvement programme they are given.
8) Most importantly, the traits which are easily inherited are subject rapidly.
Different types of cross breeding programmes used are - two breed cross, two breed rotational cross, three breed, and three breed rotational, static terminal sire and rotation terminal sire. Cross breeding is the most effective practice that can be adopted by cattlemen. In this process, there is less input and more output.

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What factors lead to the increased importation of new breeds to the United States?
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In the 1900, there were 3 main breeds of beef in the U.S. They were Shorthorn , Hereford , and the Angus. Slowly the number of breeds increased to 15-20 by 1970. But in the present scenario, we can find more than 60 varieties of beef breeds alone in U.S. There were many factors which promoted the importation of other breeds.
Some of these factors are as listed below:
1) Initially the cattle were fed on forage (grass, legumes) diet. But in 1940 there was a shift in this practice. Cattle were fed on grains so that they become fat. This ensured a high percentage of lean and less fat. Due to this reason there was an effort to improve the traditional breeds of cattle. As a result, the new breeds were imported.
2) Secondly, there was a demand for cattle which could produce more milk and also grow faster.
3) Thirdly, some people tried to promote a particular breed as the best possessing the best traits in terms of production. And since many people did not have the required awareness about all the breeds, they ended up believing what the promoters advertised.

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Compare and contrast the use of heterosis and heritability.
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The use of techniques like cross breeding in animal husbandry induces heterosis. Heterosis is also known as 'hybrid vigor'. It means an improvement in any biological aspect of the animal. Heterosis is an enhancement in the traits as compared to the average of the same trait in the parents. Heterosis is said to be achieved if the performance of the offspring turns out better than individual parents.
Heritability is different from heterosis. The difference between the two is tabulated below:
img Some traits are low in heritability, for example - milk production, longevity, and reproductive performance. While others are high in heritability, especially those related to carcass.
img

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Compare and contrast the major U.S. beef cattle breeds and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
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Describe the genetic selection tools available to cattle breeders.
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Describe the trends in breed registration numbers for the major breeds.
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Define the value of genetic variation.
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Describe several genetic abnormalities.
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Discuss the reasons breeds were created and their value to the current industry.
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Define how bull and female selection criteria might be developed for a specific herd.
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Discuss the traits of critical economic value.
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Discuss the concept of biological type.
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