Interpretive Summary: Beef embryos in dairy cows: feedlot performance, mechanistic responses, and carcass characteristics of straightbred Holstein calves and Angus-sired calves from Holstein, Jersey, or crossbred beef dams
By: Luke K Fuerniss, Kaitlyn R Wesley, Sydney M Bowman, Jerica R Hall, J Daniel Young, Jonathon L Beckett, Dale R Woerner, Ryan J Rathmann, Bradley J Johnson
Improved reproductive management has allowed dairy cow pregnancies to be optimized for beef production. The objectives of this study were to use an embryo transfer model 1) to investigate the effect of the dairy management system on beef genetics and 2) to directly compare the merit of Holstein and Jersey genetics for feedlot and carcass performance with modern beef genetics. Feedlot and carcass performance of straightbred beef cattle were similar regardless if the calf was raised in the traditional beef cow/calf system or if the calf was raised at a calf ranch. Based on greater daily live gain and carcass weight, Holstein maternal genetics had greater terminal merit than Jersey maternal genetics. Regardless of dam breed, dairy genetics increased carcass leanness. Minimal differences were detected between adjusted feed efficiency of beef and beef × dairy cattle, but underestimation of mature size of beef × dairy could have overestimated efficiency. Genetic differences were more impactful than differences between the conventional beef and dairy calfhood management systems on feedlot and carcass performance.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.