VETERINARSKI ARHIV 69 (1), 17-28, 1999

ISSN 1331-8055 Online
ISSN 0372-5480 Printed in Croatia





Improvement of beef production traits of Southern Anatolian Red cattle through crossings
with Simmental sires

Okan Ertugrul1, Orhan Alpan2*, Melith Umay3,
Abdurrahman Bilki3, and Sait Bulmus3

1Veterinary Faculty, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey

2Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

3Ceylanpinar State Farm, Sanliurfa, Turkey





* Contact address:
Prof. Dr. Orhan Alpan,
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan,
Phone: 962 2 295111; Fax: 962 2 295123;
E-mail: orhan@just.edu.jo


ERTUGRUL, O., O. ALPAN, M. UMAY, A. BILKI, S. BULMUS: Improvement of beef production traits of Southern Anatolian Red cattle through crossings with Simmental sires. Vet. arhiv 69, 17-28, 1999.

ABSTRACT

The objective of this work was to develop a new genotype of cattle using Southern Anatolian Red cows and Simmental semen and to study some of the productive traits of F1 crossbred generation. The animal material consisted of 50 Southern Anatolian Red cows and 80 crossbreds. All the cows calved normally and without any assistance. No serious health problems were observed up to 18 months of age. The average birth masses of the male and female calves were 35.30.8 and 32.80.6 kg, respectively and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). The animals reached 516.410.4 and 445.35.0 kg, in the above order, live mass (P<0.01) at 18 months of age. Fattening with 10 males was started at a mass of 125 kg and lasted until 550 kg. The dressing percentage of chilled carcass was 59.0% with carcass values of 17.3% bone, 78.9% saleable meat, 23.8% prime cuts and 2.0% pelvic fat. The results indicate that Simmental genotype will contribute to Southern Anatolian Red positively for the development of a new dual-purpose breed of cattle, giving priority to beef production.

Key words: cattle, Simmental, Southern Anatolian Red, crossbreeding, growth, fattening, carcass



Introduction

Turkey has a cattle population of about 13 million head. Low production native breeds constitute 52% of the total. The remainder are crossbreds between native and European breeds at different genotype levels. Among the European breeds, Holsteins and Brown Swiss make up about 90% of the total population (ANON, 1994). The Southern Anatolian Red, numbering about half a million head, is a common native breed in the Mediterranean and south-eastern regions of Turkey. Varieties of this breed are also raised in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Iraq, which are generally known as Damascus cattle. The Southern Anatolian Red is the most prolific milk producer among the native breeds in Turkey, some of which have lactation yields of about 5.000 kg. It is well adapted to the prevailing adverse environmental conditions in the area, including high temperatures. Daytime temperatures generally measure from 35 to 40 C in July and August. The breed is also highly resistant to tick born diseases (ALPAN, 1972; AKCAN et al., 1991; ERTUGRUL, 1993). A crossbreeding program between the Southern Anatolian Red and Holsteins was begun in 1970 with the aim of increasing milk production in the southern regions of Turkey. SEZGIN (1976) reported that the averages for length of lactation were 220, 279 and 292 days, with actual lactation milk yields of 1,792, 2,804 and 3,231 kg for natives, crossbreds and pure Holsteins, respectively.

Reports on different performances of Holstein Southern Anatolian Red crossbreds have indicated that as the genotype of Holstein was increased from zero to the second back-cross generation level, the averages of growth rate in calves, milk production in cows, daily mass gain and feed conversion efficiency in fattening bull-calves were also increased (ALPAN, 1972; ALPAN and SEZGIN, 1976; AKCAN and ALPAN, 1984). On the other hand, abilities of adaptation to hot climate and disease resistance were decreased, with indications of higher numbers of health disturbances and higher respiration rate during the hot season (AKCAN et al., 1991).

The Simmental is a large size, dual-purpose breed that has become increasingly popular in many countries over the last two decades. Milk yield of the breed has been reported to be 5,825 kg in Switzerland, the country of origin of the breed (LEDERMAN, 1995). In addition to its relatively high milk production, the recent popularity of the breed is mainly based on its beef production performance. KRAEUSLICH (1982) reported that in the Simmental breed the average values for some beef traits were 35 kg for birth mass, 650 kg for mature body mass in females, 1,200 g average daily gain in the fattening period of males and 650 kg slaughter weight at about 500 days of age. The Simmental breed has been reported to be successful in transmitting its beef production potential to crossbred generations with different dairy and beef breeds in many countries around the world (DALTON et al., 1975; COMERFORD et al., 1987; KRESS et al., 1992).

The first phase of a vast irrigation project has started and is being expanded in the south-eastern regions of Turkey. It is anticipated that an ample supply of feedstuffs and food industry by-products will be available for feeding livestock in the area. To make the best use of the cattle population in the region, the productive potential of native cattle needs to be improved. In this respect, using the Simmental genotype on the Southern Anatolian Red would bring improvements in both beef and dairy production.

The main objective of this work was to develop a new genotype of cattle having a high capacity for beef and milk production and an ability to adapt to the warm climatic conditions of the region. The specific objective of this work was to study some of the important productive traits of the first generation progeny of Simmental Southern Anatolian Red combination cross-breeding programme.

Materials and methods

The study was conducted on 50 Southern Anatolian red cows and their 80 crossbred calves, produced by artificial insemination, using frozen Simmental semen over a period of two years. The semen was donated by Lalahan Livestock Research Institute.

The study was carried out at the Ceylanpinar State Farm in the south-eastern region of Turkey. Parturitions were observed for calving ease evaluations using a scale of one to ten, in ascending order of difficulty. Live masses and four body measurements (wither height, body length, chest girth circumference and cannon bone circumference) were recorded monthly from birth to six months, and every three months from six to 18 months of age. The animals were kept in open paddocks, provided with shelter areas at the sides for protection from sunshine, rain and wind.

Ten male crossbreds were chosen at about four months of age and with 125 kg body mass to study fattening performance and carcass traits. They were fed roughage and concentrates at a ratio of 50:50. Roughage comprised green cut grass and corn in summer, and corn silage and grass hay in the winter season. The concentrates were a barley based mix (Table 1). The animals were slaughtered at 550 kg of live mass. Some slaughtering measurements were taken and carcass traits were determined. The data were analysed using standard statistical procedures.

Results

Length of gestation, calving ease and mortality

There was no difference (P<0.05) in the average length of gestation between male (287.40.63 days) and female (2860.88 days) calves. All calvings were normal. Average calving ease score was one. Mortality and serious health disorders were not observed among calves up to 18 months of age.

Live mass and body measurements

The average live mass and body measurements of calves from birth to 18 months of age are given in Tables 2, 3 and 4. The average birth mass of the male and female calves were 35.30.8 and 32.80.6 kg, respectively and the statistical difference was significant (P<0.05). Male animals maintained this superiority until 18 months of age, except in the first month. Respective live mass figures for male and female crossbreds were also different (P<0.01) at 12 and 18 months of age (Table 1 and Fig. 1).

Table 1. Ration composition and nutrient contents (%) in cattle feed used

Ingredients

Ration dry matter

Dry matter

Crude protein

Crude fiber

Roughages

Grass-legume mix

25

29.3

11.8

31.4

Corn, well eared

25

33.7

8.1

23.2

Concentrate mix

Barley

40

88.1

9.6

7.5

Wheat bran

5

89.8

17.3

10.6

Cotton seed oil meal

4

91.2

35.0

14.1

Minerals and salt

1

-

-

-

Fig. 1.

Fig. 1. Growth diagrams in body masses of male and female cattle crossbreds


From birth to 18 months of age, four body measurements were taken at eleven measurement periods. The mean values of the measurements at six-monthly intervals are given in Tables 3 and 4. Males had significantly higher means during most measurement periods. The females displayed certain higher means (such as 6- and 18-month measurements of heart girth) but statistical differences were not significant (P>0.05).

Table 2. Body masses of Simmental Southern Anatolian Red crosses (kg)

Stage
(months)

Male

Female

t-test

N

Mean

SE

N

Mean

SE

Birth

46

35.3

0.8

34

32.8

0.6

*

3

46

103.3

2.4

34

95.7

2.0

*

6

43

194.0

3.1

30

170.5

2.8

**

9

40

281.3

4.5

26

247.3

4.0

**

12

33

368.5

6.0

18

323.0

4.4

**

15

26

447.5

10.3

15

394.4

3.8

**

18

22

516.4

10.4

14

445.3

5.0

**

*P<0.05; **P<0.01

Table 3. Withers heights and body lenghts of
Simmental Souther Anatolian Red crosses (cm)

Stage
(months)

Male

Female

t-test

N

Mean

SE

N

Mean

SE

Withers height

Birth

46

75.9

0.1

34

73.7

0.7

**

6

43

110.4

0.7

30

108.4

3.3

-

12

33

127.7

0.9

18

123.9

0.9

**

18

22

140.0

0.9

14

136.4

0.8

-

Body length

Birth

46

61.1

0.5

34

59.9

0.7

-

6

43

107.1

0.7

30

106.5

0.8

-

12

33

132.1

1.0

18

125.1

1.0

**

18

22

144.0

1.1

14

138.2

2.3

*

*P<0.05; **P<0.01

Table 4. Heart girth and cannon bone circumference of
Simmental Southern Anatolian Red crosses (cm)

Stage
(months)

Male

Female

t-test

N

Mean

SE

N

Mean

SE

Heart girth

Birth

46

75.6

0.5

34

74.1

0.5

*

6

43

123.8

1.2

30

130.3

0.8

-

12

33

168.8

1.2

18

163.5

0.9

**

18

22

183.9

2.3

14

184.3

1.1

-

Cannon bone circumference

Birth

46

12.1

0.1

34

11.7

0.1

**

6

43

17.1

0.1

30

15.9

0.1

**

12

33

20.5

0.2

18

18.9

0.2

**

18

22

21.6

0.3

14

20.5

0.2

**

*P<0.05; **P<0.01

Fattening, slaughtering and carcass traits

Ten males were chosen for beef production study at four months of age. The animals reached the target mass of 550 kg in 426 days with an average daily gain of 10120.1 g (Table 5). Some values of slaughter and carcass traits are given in Tables 6 and 7. The average chilled carcass mass was 327.39.6 kg with a 59% dressing percentage on chilled carcass basis. The ratio of bone to carcass was 17.3%, with the prime cuts to carcass ratio being 23.8%. Average abdominal and pelvic fats were 8.41.1 and 6.60.6 kg, respectively. Average feed conversion efficiency was calculated as 9.70.2 kg for the group on feed dry matter basis.

Table 5. Fattening performances of Simmental Souther Anatolian Red crossbred bulls (N=10)

Item

Mean

SE

Starting mass (kg)

122.7

4.6

Starting age (days)

124.7

6.2

Fattening period (days)

425.9

13.7

Final mass (kg)

553.4

10.8

Average daily gain (g)

1012.0

10.1

Feed efficiency (kg Feed dry matter/kg gain)

9.7

0.2

Table 6. Some slaughtering characteristics of Simmental Souther Anatolian Red crossbred Bulls (N=10)

Item

Mean

SE

Slaughtering mass (kg)

553.4

10.8

Warm carcass (kg)

334.2

10.1

Chilled carcass (kg)

327.3

9.6

Chilling shrinkage (%)

2.0

0.0

Dressing percentage (Chilled)

59.0

9.8

Warm skin (kg)

45.2

1.0

Head (kg)

25.4

0.6

Liver (kg)

6.9

0.3

Empty stomach (kg)

10.0

0.7

Abdominal fat (kg)

8.4

1.1

Table 7. Some carcass characteristics of Simmental Souther Anatolian Red crossbred bulls (N=10)

Item

Mean

SE

Chilled carcass (kg)

327.3

9.6

Bone (kg)

56.3

1.6

Saleable meat (kg)

258.1

11.9

Bone to caracass (%)

17.3

0.7

Pelvic fat (kg)

6.6

0.6

Prime cuts (kg)

77.8

2.8

Prime cuts to carcass (%)

23.8

0.9


Discussion

This study showed that the average gestation period for male and female calves together was four days longer than the figures reported by ERTUGRUL (1993) for the same herd at the same station. The average gestation length of this study was also higher than the average Simmental figures reported in Turkey (DELIOMEROGLU, 1993) and in the USA (WRAY et al., 1987). The differences may be attributed in part to the genotype of the foetus.

Generally speaking, the Southern Anatolian Red breed has long legs and a narrow and thin body frame. On the other hand, the Simmental breed has short legs, and is stocky with a large body size. For these reasons calving difficulty is one of the main concerns in Simmental cows and also for crossings of Simmental bulls with other breeds (MEACHAM and NOTTER, 1987; COMERFORD et al., 1987). Contrary to expectations, calving difficulty posed no problem for Southern Anatolian Red cows in delivering their calves from Simmental bulls. There were no abortions, no stillbirths and all the cows delivered normally. ERTUGRUL (1993) reported earlier that the average birth mass in the same pure Southern Anatolian Red herd was 21 kg. Although crossbred calves were about 5 kg heavier in birth mass than pure Southern Anatolian Red calves, this did not cause any difficulty during parturition. It appears that the pelvic canal of the cows is wide enough to facilitate larger calves during delivery. This was also true for Holstein Southern Anatolian Red crossbreds, which was reported by SEZGIN (1976) at another state farm.

The Southern Anatolian Red breed is well adapted to the prevailing adverse environmental conditions (ALPAN, 1972). They are also more resistant to diseases than Holsteins. AKCAN et al (1991) reported that the incidence of health disturbances was increased as the Holstein genotype increased in the crossbred generations. Since there was no mortality, and not even any serious health disturbances among the crossbreds in this study, it may be concluded that the Southern Anatolian Red genotype for disease resistance prevails in the progeny. However, it should be borne in mind that the first crossbred generation has also the advantage of heterosis.

As was expected, the male crossbreds had higher body masses and body measurements than the females (Table 2-4 and Fig. 1) from birth to 18 months of age. The differences were statistically significant (P<0.05) at most of the measurement periods. The growth performances of the crossbreds were similar to the Holstein Southern Anatolian Red crossbreds as reported by SEZGIN (1976) from birth to three months of age. After this stage, the differences were increased in favour of Simmental crossbreds at almost all the body measurements as the ages of the animals increased, until 18 months. However, withers heights were lower in both Simmental crosses and Holstein crosses than in the pure Southern Anatolian Red.

Ten of the males were chosen for fattening and were slaughtered at 550 kg live mass. Since all the cows were inseminated by Simmental semen there were no Southern Anatolian Red calves available at the farm for control animals. For this reason, reports of the previous growth and fattening results of Southern Anatolian Red and their Holstein crossbred males were used for comparisons. Simmental crosses had wider and deeper body measurements than Southern Anatolian Red and their Holstein crossbreds. This could be interpreted to mean that body capacity in Simmental crosses was more suitable to mass gains in fattening than Southern Anatolian Red and their Holstein crossbreds. As a matter of fact, the results in this study showed that Simmental crosses had higher fattening performances than Southern Anatolian Red and Holstein Southern Anatolian Red crosses (ALPAN and SEZGIN, 1976; AKCAN and ALPAN, 1984). However, the averages for daily gain and feed efficiency in this study were lower than the reported values for pure Simmentals (KRAEUSLICH, 1982; MAZUROWSKI et al., 1995).

The warm and chilled dressing percentages of 60.2 and 59.0% in this study are higher than the values reported for the Southern Anatolian Red and their Holstein crossbreds (ALPAN and SEZGIN, 1976) and are similar to pure Simmentals (MAZUROWSKI et al., 1995). The ratio between fresh skin mass and live slaughter mass was 8.2%. This value was reported to be 8.8% for Holstein Southern Anatolian Red crosses and 10.3% for pure natives (ALPAN and SEZGIN, 1976). The Southern Anatolian Red has loose skin and a large skin surface area which assists the animal in high skin respiration and resistance to high environmental temperatures (ALPAN, 1972).

The ratio of total abdominal and pelvic fat to carcass weight was found to be 4.6%. This value is smaller than in Southern Anatolian Reds and their Holstein crossbreds. Also, the average slaughter mass of the Simmental crosses in this study was about 175 kg higher than the reported values of Holstein crossbreds (ALPAN and SEZGIN, 1976). Although Simmental crosses were heavier, they deposited less fat than Holstein crosses. Fat deposition in the body is influenced by various genetic and environmental factors. A leaner carcass is more economical for the producer and is also preferred by the consumer. This represents an advantage for Simmental crosses. The bone mass and bone to carcass ratio in Simmental crosses were similar to those of Holstein crosses. The ratios of prime cuts and saleable meat to carcasses were higher in Simmental crosses than in the Southern Anatolian Red, Holstein and Holstein Southern Anatolian Red crosses (ALPAN and SEZGIN, 1976). All these findings favour Simmental crosses for the purpose of dairy beef production.

In conclusion, the Simmental genotype made remarkable contributions to its crossbred generation with the Southern Anatolian Red with regard to growth and fattening characteristics. Also, this represented the first stage in the development of a new breed of dual-purpose cattle, giving priority to beef characteristics and suitability to environmental temperatures in the south-eastern regions of Turkey. The target of the programme is to vreate a genetic combination of about two-thirds Simmental and one-third Southern Anatolian Red. In the second stage of the project, milk production of f1 crossbreds and growth and longevity of a first backcross generation to Simmental will be studied.


Acknowledgements
This project was supported by Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council, Project No. VHAG-950.


References

AKCAN, A., O. ALPAN (1984): Some productive characteristics in Holsteins and their crosses with Southern Anatolian Red. II. Fattening and carcass characteristics. Doga, Turkish Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences 8, 228-236.

AKCAN, A., O. ALPAN, V. HALICIOGLU (1991): Health statistics of Holstein, SAR and H SAR crossbred cattle raised at Cukurova State Farm. Journal of Lalahan Livestock Research Institute 31, 26-41.

ALPAN, O. (1972): Some physiological reactions of Holstein (H), Southern Anatolian Red (SAR) and H SAR heifers to the environmental temperature. Journal of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ankara 19, 318-337.

ALPAN, O., Y. SEZGIN (1976): Feedlot performance and carcass characteristics in Holstein, Southern Anatolian Red and H SAR crossbred yearling bulls. Journal of Elazig Faculty Veterinary Medicine 2, 9-15.

ANONimous (1994): Turkish livestock strategy study report. FAO. Ankara.

COMERFORD, J. W., L. BERTRAND, L. L. BENYSHEK, M. JOHNSON (1987): Reproductive rates, birth weight, calving ease and 24-th calf survival in a four-breed dialled among Simmental, Limousine, Polled Hereford and Brahman beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 64, 65-76.

DALTON, D. J., K. E. JURY, R. HALL (1975): Growth rate and estrous behaviour of Friesian, Hereford Friesian, Simmental Friesian and Angus heifers. Procceedings New Zealand Society of Animal Production 35, 129-136.

DELIOMEROGLU, Y. (1993): The adaptation and production performances of imported Simmental cattle at Kazova State Farm. Doctorate Thesis. Ankara University, Health Sciences Institute, 72 pp.

ERTUGRUL, O. (1993): Some productive characteristcs of Southern Anatolian Red cattle at Ceylanpinar State Farm. Journal of Lalahan Livestock Research Institute 33, 28-38.

KRAEUSLICH, L. (1982): Rinderzucht. Verlag Eugene Ulmer. Stuttgart.

KRESS, D. D., D. E. DOORNBOS, D. C. ANDERSON, D. ROSSI (1992): Performance of crosses among Hereford, Angus and Simmental cattle with different levels of Simmental breeding. VI. Maternal heterosis of 3 to 8 year old dams and the domnance model. J. Anim. Sci. 70, 2682-2687.

LEDERMANN, A. (1994): Results of milk recording of Simmental cows in Switzerland in 1993-1994. Schweizer Fleckvieh 7, 52-93.

MAZUROWSKI, L. Z., N. KADISOVA, S. D. TYULEBAEV (1995): Carcass traits of Simmentals. Zootekhnia 3, 9-11.

MEACHAM, N. S., D. R. NOTTER (1987): Heritability estimates for calving rate in Simmental cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 64, 701-705.

SEZGIN, Y. (1976): Body form and some productive characteristics of Holstein (H), Southern Anatolian Red (SAR) and H SAR crossbreeds. Lalahan Zootechnical Research Institute Publication Series No. 47.

WRAY, N. R., R. L. QUASS, E. J. POLLAK (1987): Analysis of gestation lenght in American Simmental cattle. Journal of Animal Science 65, 970-974.

Received: 17 June 1998
Accepted: 9 February 1999



ERTUGRUL, O., O. ALPAN, M. UMAY, A. BILKI, S. BULMUS: Poboljsanje nasljednih obiljezja junadi juznoanatolijskog crvenog goveda krizanjem sa simentalskim bikovima. Vet. arhiv 69, 17-28, 1999.

SAZETAK

Cilj ovod rada bio je razvoj novog genotipa goveda uporabom juznoanatolijskih crvenih krava i simentalskog sjemena za proucavanje nekih proizvodnih svojstava krizanaca F1 generacije. Istrazivanja su obuhvacala 50 juznoanatolijskih crvenih krava i 80 krizanaca. Sve krave su se otelile normalno i bez pomaganja. Do dobi od 18 mjeseci u zivotinja nije bilo ozbiljnih zdravstvenih problema. Prosjecne mase muske telade pri telenju su bile 35,30,8 kg, a zenske 32,80,6 kg, i to je bilo statisticki znacajno (P<0,05). U dobi od 18 mjeseci muzjaci su dosegli 516,410,4 kg, a zenke 445,35,0 kg zive mase (P<0,01). Tov 10 muzjaka poceo je s masom od 125 kg i trajao do 550 kg. Randman u ovih krizanaca bio je 59,0%, od cega je na kosti otpadalo 17,3% meso 78,9% te na zdjelicnu mast 2,0%. Mesa prve kategorije bilo je 23,8%. Rezultati pokaziju da genotip simentalskog goveda pozitivno doprinosi juznoanatolijskom crvenom govedu za razvoj nove pasmine goveda s dvostrukom svrhom, a uz davanje prednosti proizvodnji junadi.

Kljucne rijeci: govedo, simentalac, juznoanatolijsko crveno govedo, krizanac, rast, tov, truplo


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