Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften HAFL, 3052 Zollikofen

Identifying ideal beef and dairy crossbreeds to optimise slaughter yields

Not every beef and dairy breed cross results in equally high slaughter yields. In Switzerland, however, no recommendations on the ideal pairings of beef and dairy breeds are available. This study aims to demonstrate which crossbreeds produce the best returns in terms of carcass weight, conformation and fat cover. The data set consisted of 601 669 crossbreeds drawn from the Swiss TVD AG Database on Animal Movements, with the individuals in question being born between 2000 and 2012 and resulting from a cross (dairy breed x beef breed or dairy breed 1 x dairy breed 2). Results showed that Blonde d’Aquitaine and Charolais are suitable breeding partners for Braunvieh in all slaughter categories, while Belgian Blue crosses with Braunvieh are characterised by high carcass weights and excellent conformation in the fattening calf and bull slaughter categories. Fleckvieh and Holstein Friesian crosses with Blonde d’Aquitaine and Charolais individuals produce good results across all slaughter categories. Fleckvieh crosses with Montbéliarde are particularly well suited for producing fattening calves and bulls. Simmental crosses with Braunvieh, Fleckvieh and Holstein Friesian dairy breeds show good potential for producing fattening calves. For bull, oxen and cattle fattening, it is recommended to cross Simmental with Charolais.

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