Angus (A), Hereford (H), Jersey (J), Simmental (S) and Brahman (B) bulls (202), were mated to A and H cows (855 cow-years) to produce F1 calves. Cows were randomly assigned within age and breed to two pasture programs. The two pasture programs were expected to differ in particular with respect to the energy level offered to the cows during winter (tall fescue hay versus corn silage). Effects of genotypes, pasture program and of their interactions on preweaning traits were studied. Differences (P< 0.05) between pasture programs were found only for frame and muscle scores. Marginal means for A dams were higher (P<0.05) than those for H cows for all traits, except birth weight. Calves sired by B bulls were heavier (P<0.01) at birth than those sired by S, A and H, and J bulls. For the other traits, S-sired calves tended to have the largest estimated means, followed by calves of B bulls, then by the average of calves sired by A and H bulls and finally by J-sired offspring. Significant (P< 0.05) breed of sire × breed of dam interactions involved only extreme sire breeds. All hypotheses involving pasture program × breed of sire interactions were not significant. Muscle score was the only trait affected (P< 0.05) by a pasture × breed of dam interaction. However, its effect was only magnitudinal. Birth weight was the only trait not affected at all by the pasture program × breed of sire × breed of dam interaction. In the other traits, significant interactions reflected changes in the magnitude of the response rather than in the ranking of genotypes across pasture programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology