AS  Vol.8 No.7 , July 2017
Evaluating Breed Complementarity and Sexed Semen with Maternal Use of Afrikaner Germplasm
Livestock production impacts food security of developing countries, especially where efficiency of production is compromised by environmental stressors. In South Africa, breeding with indigenous Afrikaner cattle that are genetically well adapted to subtropical environments is considered an essential strategy for sustainable beef production. Today, there is a potential for farmers to participate in commercial systems that join adapted Afrikaner germplasm, used in a specialized maternal role, with exotic terminal sires to optimize production. The objective of this study was to assess productivity of five simulated production systems: 1) straightbred Afrikaner mated naturally, 2) a straight-bred Afrikaner cow herd with two sections; one section to produce replacement females and the other to cross with Charolais terminal sires, both using natural mating, 3) similar to 2, but applying sexed semen to produce replacement females, 4) similar to 2, but using a multi-breed composite dam line with a breed combination of 50% Afrikaner, 25% Hereford and 25% Simmental, and 5) similar to 4, but again applying sexed semen to produce replacement females. Parameter estimates needed to compare these systems were extracted from the scientific literature. Relative to straightbred Afrikaner dams, the simulated composite dams were more fit producing 7.8% more calves and their progeny performance was improved by reducing feed intake (-24.4%) and increasing meat production (+11.7%). The potential benefit of allocating more cows to the terminal sire was insufficient to offset the reduction in pregnancy rate that results with the use of sexed semen. Thus, system 4 had the greatest productivity (+23.1%) while requiring 22.8% less feed for finishing the progeny to be harvested relative to the purebred Afrikaner system. The combination of increased productivity and reduced feed requirement made use of a Charolais terminal sire in conjunction with multi-breed composite females bred by natural service the most efficient system among those studied.
Cite this paper: Khorshidi, R. , MacNeil, M. , Crowley, J. , Scholtz, M. , Theunissen, A. and Plastow, G. (2017) Evaluating Breed Complementarity and Sexed Semen with Maternal Use of Afrikaner Germplasm. Agricultural Sciences, 8, 507-517. doi: 10.4236/as.2017.87038.

[1]   Delgado, C., Rosegrant, M., Steinfeld, H., Ehui, S. and Courbois, C. (1999) Livestock to 2020: The Next Food Revolution. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC.

[2]   McLeod, A. (2011) World Livestock 2011-Livestock in Food Security. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome.

[3]   Ehui, S.H., Li-Pun, H.H., Mares, V. and Shapiro, B. (1998) The Role of Livestock in Food Security and Environmental Protection. Outlook on Agriculture, 27, 81-87.

[4]   Hazell, P., Poulton, C., Wiggins, S. and Dorward, A. (2007) The Future of Small Farms for Poverty Reduction and Growth. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington DC.

[5]   Scholtz, M.M. and Theunissen, A. (2010) The Use of Indigenous Cattle in Terminal Crossbreeding to Improve Beef Cattle Production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Animal Genetics Research, 46, 33-39.

[6]   Burrow, H.M. (2012) Importance of Adaptation and Genotype X Environment Interactions in Tropical Beef Breeding Systems. Animal, 6, 729-740.

[7]   Pienaar, L. (2014) Genetic Diversity in the Afrikaner Cattle Breed. MSc. Thesis, University of the Free State, Bloemfontain.

[8]   MacNeil, M.D., Cundiff, L.V., Dinkel, C.A. and Koch, R.M. (1984) Genetic Correlations among Sex-Limited Traits in Beef Cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 58, 1171-1180.

[9]   MacNeil, M.D., Bailey, D.R., Urick, J.J., Gilbert, R.P. and Reynolds, W.L. (1991) Heritabilities and Genetic Correlations for Postweaning Growth and Feed Intake of Beef Bulls and Steers. Journal of Animal Science, 69, 3183–3189.

[10]   MacNeil, M.D., Lopez-Villalobos, N. and Northcutt S.L. (2011) A Prototype National Cattle Evaluation for Feed Intake and Efficiency of Angus Cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 89, 3917-3923.

[11]   Greiner, S.P. (2002) Crossbreeding in Beef Cattle. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg.

[12]   Scholtz, M.M., Steyn, Y., Van Marle-Koester, E. and Theron, H.E. (2012) Improved Production Efficiency in Cattle to Reduce their Carbon Footprint for Beef Production. South African Journal of Animal Science, 42, 450-453.

[13]   Cartwright, T.C. (1970) Selection Criteria for Beef Cattle for the Future. Journal of Animal Science, 30, 706-711.

[14]   Gregory, K.E. and Cundiff, L.V. (1980) Crossbreeding in Beef Cattle: Evaluation of Systems. Journal of Animal Science, 51, 1224-1242.

[15]   MacNeil, M.D. and Matjuda, E. (2007) Breeding Objectives for Angus and Charolais Specialized Sire Lines for Use in the Emerging Sector of South African Beef Production. South African Journal of Animal Science, 37, 1-10.

[16]   Gutierrez-Gil, B., Wiener, P. and Williams, J.L. (2007) Genetic Effects on Coat Colour in Cattle: Dilution of Eumelanin and Phaeomelanin Pigments in an F2-Back-cross Charolais x Holstein Population. BMC Genetics, 8, 56.

[17]   Dadi, H., Jordaan, G.F., Schoeman, S.J. and Van der Westhuizen, J. (2002) The Effect of Charolais and Hereford Sires and Straightbred and Crossbred Dams on Pre-weaning Growth of Calves. South African Journal of Animal Science, 32, 38-43.

[18]   Theunissen, A. (2012) Charaterization of Breed Additive and Heterosis Effects in Beef Cattle Using Experimental Results. Master’s Thesis, University of Free State, Bloemfontein.

[19]   MacNeil, M.D. (2005) Beef Cattle Management: Crossbreeding. In: Ullrey, D.E., et al., Eds., Encyclopedia of Animal Science, CRC Press, Boca, Raton.

[20]   Hall, J.B. and Glaze Jr, J.B. (2013) How Can Sexed Semen Be Used in Commercial Beef Herds? Range Beef Cow Symposium, Rapid City, 3-5 December 2013, 316.

[21]   Hohenboken, W.D. (1999) Applications of Sexed Semen in Cattle Production. Theriogenology, 52, 1421-1433.

[22]   Maqhashu, A., Mphaphathi, M.L., Seshoka, M.M., Ramukhithi, F.V., Seolwana, F.L., Masenya, M.B., Netshirovha, R.T., Mapeka, M.H., Nengovhela, N.H., Kanuya, N.L., Muchenje, V. and Nedambale, T.L. (2016) Comparison of Oestrous Synchronization Response and Pregnancy Rate of Village Cows Following Timed Artificial Insemination in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo Provinces. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 6, 9-15.

[23]   Long, C.R., Cartwright, T.C. and Fitzhugh, H.A. (1975) Systems Analysis of Sources of Genetic and Environmental Variation in Efficiency of Beef Production: Cow Size and Herd Management. Journal of Animal Science, 40, 409-420.

[24]   Theunissen, A., Scholtz, M.M., Neser, F.W.C. and MacNeil, M.D. (2013) Crossbreeding to Increase Beef Production: Additive and non-Additive Effects on Weight Traits. South African Journal of Animal Science, 43, 143-152.

[25]   Theunissen, A., Scholtz, M.M., MacNeil, M.D. and Neser, F.W.C. (2014) Breed Additive and Heterosis Effects on Feedlot and Carcass Traits in Beef Cattle. 10th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Vancouver, 17-22 August 2014, 714.

[26]   Theunissen, A., Scholtz, M.M., Neser, F.W.C. and MacNeil, M.D. (2014) Crossbreeding to Increase Beef Production: Additive and non-Additive Effects on Fitness Traits. South African Journal of Animal Science, 44, 335-349.

[27]   Seidel, G.E. (2003) Economics of Selecting for Sex: The Most Important Genetic Trait. Theriogenology, 59, 585-598.

[28]   Lardner, B. and Damiran, D. (2015) Comparison of Fixed-time Artificial Insemination vs. Natural Service in Beef Cows: Reproductive Efficiency and System Cost.

[29]   Anderson, P. (2012) Matching Cattle Type and Feedlot Performance. University Minnesota Extension. and_feedlot_performance.pdf

[30]   Dickerson G.E. (1973) Inbreeding and Heterosis in Animals. Proceedings of an Animal Breeding Symposium in Honor of Jay Lush. American Society of Animal Science and American Dairy Science Association, Illinois, 29 July 1972, 54-77.

[31]   Lin, C.Y. (1980) Relative Efficiency of Selection Methods for Improvement of Feed Efficiency. Journal of Dairy Science, 63, 491-494.

[32]   MacNeil, M.D., Cundiff, L.V., Gregory, K.E. and Koch, R.M. (1988) Crossbreeding Systems for Beef Production. Applied Agricultural Research, 3, 44-54.

[33]   Skrypzeck, H., Schoeman, S.J., Jordaan, G.F. and Neser, F.W.C. (2000) Estimates of Crossbreeding Parameters in a Multibreed Beef Cattle Crossbreeding Project. South African Journal of Animal Science, 30, 193-203.

[34]   Barwick, S.A., Johnston, D.J., Burrow, H.M., Holroyd, R.G., Fordyce, G., Wolcott, M.L., Sim, W.D. and Sullivan, M.T. (2009) Genetics of Heifer Performance in Wet and Dry Seasons and their Relationships with Steer Performance in Two Tropical Beef Genotypes. Animal Production Science, 49, 367-382.

[35]   Bonsma, J.C. (1949) Breeding Cattle for Increased Adaptability to Tropical and Subtropical Environments. Journal of Agricultural Science, 39, 204-221.

[36]   Rudder, T.H., Bean, K.G., Lapworth, J.W. and Seifert, G.W. (1976) Commercial Evaluation of a Tropical Breed Developed Experimentally. Proceeding of the Australian Society of Animal Production, 11, 89-92.

[37]   Seifert, G.W. and Rudder, T.H. (1984) Experience with Africander and Africander Derived Genotypes in Australian Beef Herds. Proceedings of the 2nd World Congress on Sheep and Beef Cattle Breeding, 16-19 April 1984, Pretoria, 671-677.

[38]   Corbet, N.J., Shepherd, R.K., Burrow, H.M., van der Westhuizen, J., Strydom, P.E. and Bosman, D.J. (2006) Evaluation of Bonsmara and Belmont Red Breeds in South Africa. 1. Productive Performance. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 46, 199-212.

[39]   Scholtz, M.M., Roux, C.Z. and Lombard, P.E. (1990) Breeding Strategies for Beef Cattle in the Subtropics and Tropics: Terminal Crossbreeding. Proceedings of the 4th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, 23-27 July 1990, Edinburgh, XV, 361-364.

[40]   Moyo, S. (1990) Evaluation of the Productivity of Indigenous Cattle and Some Exotic Beef Breeds and their Crosses in Zimbabwe. In: Ababa, A., Ed., ILCA Research Fellowship Report, ILCA, Ethiopia, 139.

[41]   Garner, D.L. and Seidel, G.E. (2008) History of Commercializing Sexed Semen for Cattle. Theriogenology, 69, 886-895.