Black Baldy Cows Show Crossbred Advantages

Beef | Posts

The advantages of hybrid vigor have long been acknowledged in the beef world. Compared to purebred or line-bred systems, the advantages include improvements in areas such as weaning weight, and cow longevity and fertility to name a few.

Oklahoma State University (OSU) researchers have been studying factors that affect cattle efficiency. They wanted to understand how the total calories the cow intakes influence her calf’s weaning weight. But beyond feed intake, they wanted to know that If they selected the second breed in a crossbreeding system based on its merits to reduce costs or improve an operation’s overall profitability would it make a difference?

While there is ample data existing on efficiency factors related to the feed or environment, OSU researchers came up with a research question for which there is not much data: “What is the influence of crossing a breed known for lower feed intake (the Hereford breed) with the popular angus breed?”

Black Baldy CowsThe study that resulted examined how crossbred cows could reduce annual cow maintenance costs. Researchers looked at maintenance energy requirements and voluntary feed intake. They wanted to know how well do black baldy cows retain body condition compared to Angus cows. At the same time, they looked at forage intake differences between the crossbreds and the straight angus cows.

Overall, results showed that the crossbred black baldy cows kept better body condition scores throughout the study. This finding could help producers increase stocking rates.

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