Since the last few years, French selectio n u nits have been confronted with many difficulties in selecting beef bulls for terminal crossing (FOULLEY, 1981). One of the main difficulties is to control a key-step such as progeny testing at the s ta tio n or on the farm. There are not only technical problems, but also fin a n c ia l ones which increase every year by the steady lowering in the number of inseminations for crossbreeding with beef bulls.
Furthermore, the production of crossbred calves marketed very early (g e n e ra lly between 3 and 4 weeks), is developing. These calves are mainly intended for the I t a l i a n market. They are characterized by a very good beef conformation score and accordingly a very high commercial value (3 -4 times higher than the value of a purebred F riesian calf ) . In these p a r t ic u l a r market conditions i t is very difficult to gather a representative sample of the progeny of each bull so as to control i t at the station until slaughter. I t should also be pointed out that to satisfy this particular demand, the b u lls used have a heavy muscle development and may even be double-muscled.
We therefore examined the possibilities of obtain ing an early evaluatio n of beef value of these bu lls using on-the-farm progeny information with weighing and beef conformation scoring done before the calves are sold.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 8. Symposia (2), , 346–350, 1982
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