Crossbreeding beef cattle offers two primary advantages relative to the use of only one breed: 1) crossbred animals exhibit heterosis (hybrid vigor), and 2) crossbred animals combine the strengths of the various breeds used to form the cross. The goal of a well-designed, systematic crossbreeding program is to simultaneously optimize these advantages of heterosis and breed complementarity.
Heterosis or hybrid vigor refers to the superiority in performance of the crossbred animal compared to the average of the straightbred parents. Heterosis may be calculated using the formula:
% Heterosis = [(crossbred average - straightbred average) ÷ straightbred average] x 100
New things are both frightening and attractive. If you place a flag in the middle of a field, the cattle will be curious and come up to investigate it. However, if that same flag was suddenly shoved in the animal’s face, it would react violently due to fear. New things are attractive when the animal is allowed to voluntarily approach them, but they can be very scary if they are introduced too quickly. Researchers have discovered that an animal’s brain has separate emotional circuits which motivate it to either go into fear mode or seek and approach mode. The circuit works like a switch and it can be in either the seek position or the fear position.
The Corriente can be traced back to the first cattle brought to the new world by the Spanish as early as 1493. These cattle were hardy breeds chosen especially to withstand the ocean crossing and adapt to their new land. They were brought to the West Indies and south Florida, as well as to Central and South America. Over the centuries the descendants of these cattle bred for different purposes - milk, meat and draft animals. They also adapted through natural selection to the various regions in which they lived. Eventually, their descendants spread across the southern U.S. and up the coast of California.
The Galloway breed of cattle with a genetic background that goes back to the coastal lowlands of Scotland has been a choice for cattle owners in the United States since they were first brought to this country in the mid-1800s. “They were tougher than nails,” says Debra Vance public relations director for the American Galloway Breeders Association (ABGA). “Plus, they display great versatility with superior beef production, feeding efficiency and ease of calving.”
In 1986, believing beef was not only tasty but also a great health food, Bradley and her daughter Mary Lou launched B3R Country Meats, a beef merchandising program that grew into a company recognized worldwide for natural Angus beef.