Effect of Brown cattle crossing with beef breeds on growth and carcass traits
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of crossing Brown breed dams with beef breeds sires (Charolais, Limousine and Belgian Blue) on growth and carcass performances of their offspring. Bulls younger than 24 months, bulls older than 24 months and calves slaughtered in Slovenian slaughterhouses from January 2007 to December 2009 were included in the comparison. In all three categories all crossbreds had heavier carcass and better net daily gain than pure breed Brown animals. The highest carcass weight and net daily gain were achieved by Charolais crossbred bulls. On average, the conformation of crossbred bulls was for more than two subclasses better than that of Brown bulls, where the Belgian Blue crossbred bulls reached the best conformation score. Carcass fatness varied from 5.7 to 6.7 (fatness class between 2+ and 3-) among all bulls’ genotypes and was the lowest in Belgian Blue crossbreds. Crossbred calves were heavier with better net daily gain and were scored for 2 conformation subclasses better than Brown breed calves. Again the highest net daily gain was achieved by Charolais crossbred calves, whereas the best conformation had Belgian Blue crossbred calves. It is recommended to crossbreed Brown breed dams, which offspring are not planned for replacement, with beef breed sires to improve carcass quality of slaughtered animals.