Why Cross Breed
The most significant reason to crossbreed is to take advantage of the natural phenomenon known as Heterosis, or Hybrid Vigour.
Heterosis or (Hybrid Vigour) is defined as the difference in an animals performance to that of the average of the parental breeds. The CRC (Cooperative Research Centre) for Beef calculates Heterosis as follows:
[ (Average crossbred progeny - Average of parents) ] x 100
Average of parents
Benefits of Cross Breeding
The most widely recognised advantage of crossbreeding is that traits from different breeds can be incorporated without having to change breeds entirely.
Whether you operate a predominately Brahman, Santa Gertrudis or Droughtmaster based herd in the tropics, or a Hereford, Angus or Shorthorn based herd in temperate areas, you are still able to capitalise from Heterosis without changing the breed of cattle that has performed well for you in the past.
Additionally, it has been recognised that some of the low heritable traits (those that do not respond quickly to selection pressure) such as fertility, can actually have a high response to crossbreeding (high Heterosis). This is one reason why crossbreeding has become so popular. To be continued