Schuler Red Angus • 7522 Rd 74 • Bridgeport, NE 69336 • (308) 262-0306 • Email
Schuler Red Composites
Schuler Red Composites have been bred and selected to be solid red, uniform in type and no larger in mature size than our purebreds. We want to be able to harvest heterosis and breed complements while maintaining the convenience traits of Red Angus. Our foundation composite cows were a duplicate of the MARC II cattle developed at Clay Center, Nebraska which was1/2 British and 1/2 Continental breeding. Currently we use select Simmental and Gelbvieh genetics along with Red Angus to create Schuler Reds 71, 62, 53 and 44 which range from 1/8 to 1/2 Continental to British genetics.
Why should I crossbreed?
The advantages of heterosis through crossbreeding include hybrid vigor, increased fertility, increased cow longevity, and most importantly…improved profitability! Just three generations of straight breeding will result in an 87% loss of hybrid vigor for reproduction and production traits. Economically relevant traits of conception, survival and fitness are hit the hardest because they are lowly heritable and respond slowly to selection pressure. The US Meat Animal Research Center reports an increase in pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed of 8.5% by simply raising crossbred calves from straight bred cows over purebred commercial calves. Maternal heterosis is the additional gain expected by comparing crossbred cows to straight bred cows raising crossbred calves. USMARC reports maternal heterosis will gain another 14.8% in cow efficiency, totaling the effects of individual and maternal heterosis at a 23.3% increase in pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed. While some of that gain can be attributed to higher milk production, it is largely the result of cow longevity and vigor.
Composite bulls are an easy way to implement a crossbreeding system without rotational breeding pastures. Furthermore, if your desired genetic package is higher percentage British than Continental, use of composite bulls will reduce the generation interval and maximize the population of the desired breed mix and can maintain it without using multiple pastures and breeds of bulls. Composite cattle typically have longer cow life spans, higher conception rates, improved yield grade and fewer structural problems than straight bred cattle.
"Given the powerful sire selection tools found in National Sire Evaluation programs there are certainly individual purebred commercial programs that are as productive as crossbred commercial programs because in low stress environments the advantages of hybrid vigor in that circumstance are small enough that purebreds can successfully compete. Thus, it would only take one drought year to blow the purebred commercial approach out of the water should it be used on an industry-wide basis."