The use of double-muscled cattle breeds in terminal crosses: Animal performance and blood metabolites

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Eighty-nine calves born of dams from British (50% Hereford and 50% Red Angus) and Continental (50% Simmental and 50% Maine Anjou) breeds crossed with Charolais (CH), Belgian Blue (BB) and Piedmontese (PM) sires were used to evaluate the productivity of using double-muscled cattle in terminal crosses. Breed of sire did not exert a significant effect on any parameter measured before weaning. Calving difficulty was related to breed of dam, being higher in British than in Continental dams (P < 0.05) and tended to be higher for male than for female calves (P < 0.10). Average daily gains to weaning and weight corrected at 200 d were higher for male than for female calves (P < 0.05), and for calves from Continental dams than for those from British dams (P < 0.05). Average daily gain during backgrounding was higher for CH than for PM-sired calves (P < 0.05). Also, ADG in feedlot (backgrounding + fattening ) was higher for male than for female calves (P < 0.05). Slaughter weight and dressing percentage were higher in calves from Continental dams than in those from British dams (P < 0.05). At similar backfat thickness, slaughter weight was higher in male than in female calves (P < 0.05). Total plasma cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were higher in PM sired cattle than in those sired by CH (P < 0.01 to 0.10). Similarly, cattle from British dams presented higher values of plasma cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol than cattle from Continental dams (P < 0.01 to 0.05). Insulin and IGF-I values increased with age (P < 0.01). Plasma insulin concentrations during fattening were higher for PM than for BB or CH sired cattle (P < 0.05), for cattle from Continental than from British dams (P < 0.01) and for males than for females (P < 0.01). During fattening, IGF-I values were higher in male than in female cattle (P < 0.01). The use of double-muscled sires in terminal crosses resulted in little effect on performance of the progeny.

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J. R. Seoane1, H. Lapierre2, and G. L. Roy2


1Département des sciences animales, FSAA, Université Laval, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4 (e-mail:
ricardo.seoane@san.ulaval.ca); 2Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dairy and Swine Research and
Development Centre, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada J1M 1Z3. Contribution no. 6172, received 5 November 1998,
accepted 13 July 1999.

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