Maternal Productivity of Tarentaise and Hereford Cattle under Montana Range Conditions

The American Tarentaise Association is holding the 
Summer Meeting near Kansas City, Missouri.

July 16th & 17th, 2021
We recommend accommodations at the
Holiday Inn Express @ Oak Grove, Missouri
(Standard one king bed or 2 queen beds-$99.00 a night plus tax
Suites- $119.00 a night plus tax)
Holiday Inn Express
304 SE 4th Street
Oak Grove, MO 64075
Block of Rooms will be under ATA (American Tarentaise Association)
The nearest airport is Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
-approximately 45 minutes from the recommended hotel
If you are making reservations please let them know you are with the ATA.
We will be visiting Vice-President Melisa Bertz farm. Her and her husband, Harold, graciously  were willing to host this year's meeting. Melisa is a FFA advisor that has a heart for teaching our youth in the agricultural world, so she is setting up all kinds of youth activities. We hope every youth that can attend, but don't worry if you can not attend there will be a way you can still get involved even from your very own farm. We will be hosting the very first Online Tarentaise Show.
More details will follow in an email, a letter and online.

Agenda for the Summer Meeting

Friday July 16th

2:45pm  Meet at Holiday Inn Express- Oak Grove, MO
3:00-4:30pm  Tour of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers- Odessa, MO
5:30 Dinner at Tepoz Mexican Restaurant- 709 S. Broadway Suite A, Oak Grove, MO
7:30pm-9pm  Junior ATA Quiz Bowl and Skillathon Holiday Inn Express Large Meeting Room

Saturday July 17th

Breakfast at the Hotel
7:30-9:30am  ATA Board Meeting
10:00am-12:00pm Tour and Shopping  Kleinschmidt's Western Store- Higginsville, MO
12:00pm-2:00pm Lunch Arcadia Moon Winery, Higginsville, MO
     Guest Speaker:  Stephanie White- Welcome to our Farm Life Story- Children's Books
2:30-6:30 pm  Meadow Lane Farms- Home of Harold and Melisa Bertz, 6430 Moss Rd, Mayview, MO
Welcome- Farm History and cattle program
Judging of Purebred and Commercial Heifer Classes
Commercial Cattle on Display
Board Update
Junior Show and Contest Results
BBQ Dinner
Late Evening on your own.  There are several social venues in the neighborhood

Maternal Productivity of Tarentaise and Hereford Cattle 
under Montana Range Conditions

The authors gratefully acknowledge semen grants and heifer donations from breeders of the Montana Tarentaise Association.

D. D. Kress, D. E. Doornbos, D. C. Andersen, and K. C. Davis

Crossbred calves have generally shown greater preweaning growth than straightbred calves when both were raised on straightbred dams (Long, \1980; Lawlor et al., 1984), but few experiments have included Tarentaise, a moderate-framed breed noted for easy calving, hardiness, and maternal characteristics (Briggs and Briggs, 1980) . These data are from a long-term study of cow efficiency with different biological types of cows under range conditions. The present study was with foundation Hereford and Tarentaise cows raising Hereford, Tarentaise, and reciprocally crossed calves. The objectives were to compare preweaning growth of the calves, to compare milk production, reproduction, and size of the dams, and to determine the usefulness of the Tarentaise breed as a possible alternative in crossing to the British breeds.


Materials and Methods

There were 457 weaning records on calves raised on Hereford or Tarentaise dams at the Northern Agricultural Research Center near Havre. These foundation Hereford and Tarentaise dams were progeny of 30 Hereford and 20 Tarentaise sires. The 77 foundation Tarentaise were purchased or donated from 11 breeders in Montana, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. They were obtained as heifers following weaning and were selected to represent herd average based primarily on their adjusted 205-d weight. The 85 foundation Herefords were selected at random from the grade Hereford herd at the research center. Foundation dams were mated to 17 Hereford and 16 Tarentaise sires selected to represent breed average for adjusted 365-d weight. All Hereford and Tarentaise sires were mated at random to both breeds of dam in a 2 x 2 design.

Breeding was by AI during a 45-day season starting the 1st week of June. Calves were born from early .March to late April and were weaned at 6 months of age during the first week of October. There was no creep feeding.

Supplemental feeding was practiced during the winter (late December to 1st week of May) with 20 Ibs. of alfalfa hay or its energy equivalent fed per day per cow before calving and increased to 30 Ibs. after calving. Cows were put on crested wheatgrass pasture the 1st week of May and then moved to a foothill bunchgrass type of summer pasture the last week of May. The summer pasture averaged 19 inches of annual precipitation and 4,000 ft altitude. Vegetation included rough fescue, Idaho fescue, and bluebunch wheatgrass with interspersed areas of ponderosa pine. Terrain varied from level to very steep areas and the .stocking rate was 2.7 acres per animal- unit-month.

Condition of cows and calves was visually scored from 1 to 9 (9 = very fat) by two technicians and then averaged. The weigh-suckle-weigh technique, as described by Williams et al. (1979) , was used to measure milk production.


Results and Discussion

Breed of dam was significant for calf weaning weight, weaning hip height, weaning condition score, and late milk production. Least-squares means for Hereford and Tarentaise dams are shown in Table 1. Tarentaise dams weaned heavier calves, taller calves, and calves with greater condition than Hereford dams. Tarentaise dams maintained their milk production into later lactation better than the Hereford dams.

Heterosis was important for calf growth and percentage heterosis was 3% for birth weight, 5% for weaning weight, 1% for weaning height, and 2% for condition score. None of the estimates of heterosis for milk production were significant, indicating that crossbred calves did not stimulate their dams to produce more milk.

Breed of dam was significant for cow weights at precalving, prebreeding, postbreeading, and weaning (but not for weight changes), cow condition score, cow weight:height ratio, and calf weight at weaning per unit of cow weight. Table 1 contains least-squares means for each breed of dam. Hereford dams were consistently about 100 Ib heavier during the year and had greater condition, but were only .6 cm taller than Tarentaise dams. Breed of dam was important for calf weaning weight per unit of cow weight at weaning and individual heterosis was 5.8%. Breed of dam differences were not significant for proportion calved, proportion weaned, or calf weaning weight per cow exposed to breeding.



Cow weights and heights indicate that Tarentaise cattle would work well in rotational crossbreeding systems with British breeds. In an environment that will support moderate levels of milk production and intermediate cow size, Tarentaise would cross particularly well with those British breeds with lower levels of milk production. Tarentaise crossed with other Continental breeds might be considered in situations where breeders want to maintain milk production at the Continental breed level but reduce cow size.

Literature Cited

Briggs, H. M. and D. M. Briggs. 1980. Modern Breeds of Livestock (4th Ed.)
Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York.
Lawlor, Jr., T. J., D. D. Kress, D. E. Doornbos, and D. C. Anderspn. 1984.
Performance of crosses among Hereford, Angus and Simmental cattle with different levels of Simmental breeding. I. Preweaning growth and survival. J. Anim. Sci. 58:1321.
Long, C. R. 1980. Crossbreeding for beef production: experimental results. J. Anim. Sci. 51:1197.
Williams, J. H., D. C. Anderson, and D. D. Kress. 1979. Milk production in Hereford cattle. I. Effects of separation interval on weigh-suckle-weigh milk production estimates. J. Anim. Sci. 49:1438. \

Table 1. Means for calf and cow traits by breed of

Trait  Hereford  Tarentaise
Calf birth weight, Ib  90a  89a
 Calf weaning weight, Ib  475a  519b
 Calf weaning height, cm  109a  111b
 Calf weaning condition score  5.5a  5.9b
Milk production Ib
Early (40 days)  20a  23a
      Late (130 days)  14a  20b
 Cow weights, Ib
      Precalving  1232a  1126b
Prebreeding  1133a   1025b
      Postbreeding  1236a  1122b
      Weaning  1230a  1115b
 Cow hip height, cm  131.1a  130.5b
 Cow condition score  6.0a  4.9b
 Cow weight:height ratio, Ib/cm  9.5a  8.6b
 Calf wt:cow wt ratio  .39a  .47b
 Proportion calved  .820a  .781a
 Proportion weaned  .810a  .771a
 Calf wn wt:cow exposed, Ib  376a  400a

a,b Means with different superscripts differ

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