US Meat & Animal Research Center (MARC)
Project Introduction ;
Situated in Nebraska, the Clay Centre - Meat & Animal Research Center comprises a 35,000 acre facility which was founded in 1966, a main objective being to develop new technology to increase efficiency of production of high quality red meat, benefiting consumer and producer alike. The tables concern puberty and growth traits of heifers, breed group means for pre-weaning traits of calves, and the efficiency index of kg of calves weaned/100kg cow joined were noted.
As with those tables the dam breed used in all the data listed below is Angus. The sires used being the variable factor.
The data published by the Clay Centre in 1995, targeted primarily at a comparison between indicus/taurus cross breed performance & their effect on the carcass traits.
The Boran semen used for the programmes was sourced from eight Australian Borans imported by a joint venture of US Researchers & Australian Breeders.
BREED GROUP MEANS FOR GROWTH AND PUBERTAL DEVELOPEMENT OF F1 MALES
Points to consider: Note the comparison between th etropically adapted breed-Boran is significantly earlier maturing than Brahman
BREED GROUP MEANS FOR REPRODUCTION AND MATERIAL TRAITS OF F1 FEMALES MATED TO PRODUCE THEIR FIRST CALVES BY RED POLL SIRES AT TWO YEARS OF AGE (PRELIMINARY DATA 1994 + 95 CALF CROPS)
Points to consider: The Boran had the highest percentage of calves born. The Boran has the lowest mortility to weaning. The highest weaning weight in relation to cow exposed-more calves on the ground/greater production from medium farmed cows, greater carring ability of the land.
BREED GROUP AVERAGES IN FINAL WEIGHT AND CARCASE TRAITS OF STEERS (ADJUSTED TO AVERAGE AGE AT SLAUGHTER OF 477 DAYS
Points to consider: USDA choice - is based on Angus beef in America; therefore Angus is always going to perform well using this particular type of grading. The Boran scored higher in relation to Brahman and European breeds.
BREED GROUP AVERAGES IN RETAIL PRODUCT YIELDS OF STEERS (447 DAYS)
Points to consider: the Boran is maintaining carcase yield equivalent to other breeds.
Remember frame and size.
BREED GROUP AVERAGES IN MEAT TENDERNESS AND PALATBILITY CHARACTERISTICS OF RIB STEAKS FROM STEERS (ADJUSTED TO AVERAGE AGE OF SLAUGHTER OF 447 DAYS)
Points to consider: Shear weight is the objective measurement of slicing meat. The higher the figure the tougher the meat.
The Boran ages significantly better than the Brahman (note 14 day figures)
Remember normal cryovac aging procedure with meat handling.
Project in Australia on conformation testing.
Project Workplan and Activities;
We started off with a mixed herd of ordinary, commercial British breed cows - Herefords, Murray Greys, Shorthorns and a few Droughtmasters purchased at a local auction. These were bred to A.I. over two seasons in a very severe drought. The A.I. resulted in only about a 50 % pregnancy rate, with the balance naturally mated to Murray Grey bulls and then sold.
The third season we used a purebred Boran bull ‘Lumimba’ on a group of 40 good quality Brahman heifers bought at the western grazing cols dispersal sale. In the forth season, the first of the Boran x British-breed heifers and the Brahmans were mated with the bull ‘Bukendi’
Project Benefits: -
All the Boran crosses have good temperament and are very tame and easy to work when handled quietly by people they have come to trust. At weaning the FI Boran x British breeds were still in good condition and still had plenty of milk.
From observation it appears that the European crosses have much larger dung pats and twice the total amount of dung in their camps as in the Boran crossbreed camps.
The grazing here is fairly poor quality and the Boran crossbreds, despite eating much less than the European crosses, are only marginally lighter - 20 kg at 2 years. The Boran groups also clean up a paddock better (i.e. they eat more of the tussocks, weeds and shrubs).
The FI Boran x British-beef breeds grow the longer, heavier coat in winter months. It is silkier and oilier than that of the pure British-beef breeds. The pink eye is very bad in this district. So far we have had no occurrence of this in our Boran cross breeds, though previously we were constantly treating Murray Greys and Herefords.
With better seasons, we are looking forward to being able to produce figures which will confirm what we suspect and hope i.e. Boran crossbreds make hardy, economical, smaller cows which raise good size, quality meat steers by two years of age.
QUALITY TESTING OF BORAN/BRAHMAN CROSSES AND PRODUCTION OF PRODUCTIVE EFFICIENT BREEDERS-
GREEN HILLS STATION- Northern Queensland AUSTRALIA
In May of 1996, they weaned twenty Boran x Brahman calves at approx five months age. They were fed on half kg of cottonseed meal per head per day for 6 weeks then grouped with all other weaners and went onto supplement blocks until it rained.
The conclusion we came to was the Boran crosses performed every bit as well as the others at this stage. They then had another 40 calves on the ground in 1997, once again they were extremely happy with their quality. While all calves were sired by one bull, generally the better calves were produced by better cows which pointed to the efficiency of the breeders. This was one of the main objectives- to produce good quality and functionally efficient breeders that could survive in our harsh conditions in northern Queensland. They were confident that, with the help of the Boran, they could achieve this without losing the good points of the Brahman.