Postweaning growth of unselected Hereford and Angus cattle fed two different diets.


Two unselected herds of purebred Hereford and Angus cattle were created and their progeny evaluated during a 4-yr period (1964 to 1967) for 168-d postweaning gain when they were fed either a high- or medium-energy diet. Birth weight and 200-d adjusted weaning weight also were measured and the importance of sire x diet interactions for postweaning gain examined. Year effects were significant (P less than .001) for all traits in Herefords and for postweaning gain in Angus. Postweaning gain of both breeds increased in successive years, but no trend was observed for birth and 200-d weights. Bulls were heavier than heifers (P less than .05) for all three traits in both breeds. Hereford and Angus calves receiving the high-energy diet gained more (P less than .001) than their contemporaries fed the medium-energy diet. Sire differences were significant for birth weight in Herefords and for all three traits in Angus. Sire x diet interactions were not significant for postweaning gain in either breed. Genetic correlations were calculated by two methods: the two-way ANOVA approach using sire and sire x diet interaction variance components and the one-way ANOVA approach in which gains by progeny of each sire on each diet were considered to be two distinct traits. The genetic correlations for gain in Herefords could not be estimated by either method because of negative sire variance component estimates. The genetic correlations for gain in Angus were 1.08 for the two-way ANOVA method and 1.43 +/- .64 for the one-way ANOVA method. These results indicate that sires ranked the same based on progeny performance when fed either diet.


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