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  • American Pinzgauer Association
  • PO Box 1080
  • Kiowa, Colorado 80117

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Pinzgauer X Santa Gertrudis

Pinzgauer can play an important role in your crossbreeding program.

Heterosis is defined as the tendency of a crossbred animal to show qualities superior to those of both parents. Crossbreeding offers the advantages of heterosis (hybrid vigor) to a commercial operation. Breed identity plays an important role in selecting sires for commercial herds. Utilizing Pinzgauer in your cross program will produce traits such as growth, feed efficiency, carcass quality, fertility, milk production, adaptability, and easy disposition into your herd. Studies have shown that crossbred bulls exhibit advantages in semen quality, age at puberty, scrotal circumference and pregnancy rates. Hybrid bulls reach puberty at an earlier age, have improved sperm concentration and produce increased pregnancy and weaning rates in the cows they breed.


Pinzgauer X Angus X Salers
All purebred cattle are inbred as a result of breed formation and selection over the years. Crossbreeding provides two advantages; Heterosis and Complementarity. Heterosis results when different breeds are mated. Their progeny are less inbred therefore they perform at a level above the average of their parents. Traits with low heritability, fertility, mothering ability and calf survival tend to exhibit high heterosis. Traits with high heritability, tenderness, calving ease, retail yield, lean to fat ratio, milk production, continue with high complementarity.

The value of a crossbreeding program can be expected to increase calving ease, number of calves weaned and milk yield. Crossbreeding can increase productivity in the cow herd by 20%-25% over a comparable straight breeding program due to heterosis.

There are many crossbreeding systems:

  1. Rotational system
  2. Terminal system
  3. Rotational/Terminal
  4. Composites
Which system selected will depend on each breeders needs and goals. The fact remains - Crossbreeding is a vital factor in a commercial cattle operation.

Scientist involved in breed evaluation research generally agree a mix of British and Continental breeding of about 50/50 for the cow herd is optimal for most operations. Where abundant feed resources are available and/or maximum lean yield is desired, a higher percentage of Continental breeding is recommended. Do not over use any one particular breed.

Pinzgauers have been long recognized as an ideal breed for crossbreeding due to their purity of breed and natural desireable characteristics. The Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) operated by the USDA in Clay Center, Nebraska has developed the MARC III composite which is the main cow (70%) in their research herd of 6500 cows. It is 75% British breeds(1/4 angus, 1/4 hereford, 1/4 red pol) and 25% Continental (1/4 pinzgauer). The resulting calves provide maximum performance for research and evaluation.

Pinzgauer X Hereford
Pinzgauer steers have out performed most others when ever they have beed tested.
Olds College, Alberta Canada - 1st 1988-89
Olds College, Alberta Canada - 1st 1990-91
Great Western Beef Expo - 1979 All Choice+
Great Western Beef Expo - 1984 Reserve Champ
2006 Florida Bull Test one 28 day ADG 6.14 lbs
Nebraska Bull Test best feed conversion-1974
J.Anim.Sci 1994 Most tender by shear force
2nd tender by sensory panel
1997 Ala. Pasture to Rail REA 14.4 YG2.09
UofF steer feeding project 1993-94 #1,2,3,5

North, South, East and West Pinzgauers have consistantly performed at or near the top even though they are limited in numbers.

Pinzgauer genetics have been included in many Branded Beef programs where "Tenderness is Guaranteed". DNA testing for Tenderness markers Pinzgauer cattle have better than 85% GeneSTAR 2 stars or better. Tenderness is a strongly heritable trait passed on through complementarity.

Pinzgauer X Highland

Pinzgauer X Santa Gertrudis

Pinzgauer X Angus
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