An Evaluation of the Feasibility of Producing (Limousin X Jersey) Steers and Heifers as a Terminal feedlot Animal.
The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of utilizing Jersey Limousine cross animals for a feedlot terminus. Many Jersey Dairies at this time use sexed semen which is a process that drastically reduces the potential of male offspring in breeding programs. However due to large numbers of available replacements from these programs, there is not the same need, for as many pregnancies as conventional operations. This concept of a Jersey Limousine cross was developed to be used as a beef animal. Additionally the thought was that producing a quality beef animal would garner more profit than selling replacement heifers on the open market or bull calves to veal.
This mating of Jerseys and Limousines is founded on complementary breeding and the concept that the variation between these two bred could exploit the effects of heterosis to create a quality feedlot terminus animal. The dairies in this case contributed Jersey female genetics and purchased Limousine semen for insemination from only one supplier. Jerseys are known to posses quality traits such as high tenderness, good cutability and easy births. Limousines contribute large size, higher marbling and beef characteristics.
This study utilized kill and carcass data on (n=375) cattle from four different harvest dates. This data included information on KPH (Kidney Pelvic Heart fat), live weights, hanging weights, marbling, back fat, yield grades, USDA quality grades and sires. From the data simple statistics were calculated to show information pertaining to the use of these animals and the values that could be expected if continuing the use of this program.
The examination of this data however has not offered a complete yes or no answer. The data used in this study showed an incidence of high slaughter weights which could expose producers to price penalties. However other than large the weights these animals seem to be working well. At this time a more in depth data gathering is needed to make more powerful conclusions. Each operation exploring this program should also be encouraged to evaluate the local feasibility, of this type of operation.