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AFS
The World's best tropical dairy breed
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AFS
(THE AUSTRALIAN FRIESIAN SAHIWAL)

Australia's Tropical Dairy Breed


Dr G.I. Alexander Queensland Department of Primary Industries GPO Box 46,Brisbane Queensland 4001 Australia (Presented by Dr M.L. Tierney to Ag China 86 Conference, Guangzhou CHINA) Introduction In the early 1960's a need was seen for a breed of dairy cattle which was tick resistant and would form the basis of the dairy industry in Queensland in future years. Queensland is situated in the tropical and sub-tropical northern area of Australia, and the cattle tick (Boophilus microplus) is endemic throughout most of the dairying areas of Queensland. In the 1960's it was generally considered that there was a real possibility of chemical control of the cattle tick breaking down completely. In the early 1950's Bos indicus genes had been introduced into Bos taurus beef cattle in Queensland through, mainly, the introduction of Brahman cattle into the European breeds which had, themselves, been introduced many years earlier. The major Bos taurus beef breeds were the Hereford, Shorthorn and Angus. The infusion of Bos indicus genes was-seen to be a way of controlling cattle tick. The principal dairy breeds in Queensland in the early 1960's were the Jersey, Illawarra, Holstein-

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Friesian, Ayrshire and Guernsey all Bos taurus breeds with relatively little natural resistance to the cattle tick. In 1952, a small number of Sahiwal cattle had been introduced into Australia from Pakistan . As the Sahiwal was recognised as the best of the dairy-type Bos indicus cattle a decision was taken in 1960 to develop a dairy breed based on approximately 50% Bos taurus genes and 50% Sahiwal genes. In 1965 it was decided that the Bos taurus component of the new breed should be the Holstein-Friesian. Thus, the Australian Friesian Sahiwal (AFS) Breed Development Programme was put in place. By the mid 1970's it was seen that the complete breakdown of the chemical control of ticks was fairly remote. However, a number of tropical countries, particularly in the South-East Asian region, were starting to develop dairy industries. The local breeds of cattle were generally found to have very low levels of milk production, while Bos taurus cattle of European breeding found difficulty in coping with the tropical conditions and their production suffered markedly. Thus, the emphasis of the AFS Breed Development Programme changed to that of developing a breed of dairy cattle that could perform well under tropical conditions, and to the development of genetic improvement programmes within this new breed. This paper will discuss the development of the AFS breed, the production levels that have been achieved the genetic improvement programmes that are in place, and the methods that can be used to incorporate the AFS in developing dairying industries. Development of the AFS breed The first matings in the AFS programme took place in 1961 when Sahiwal bulls were mated to HolsteinFriesian, Illawarra and Jersey heifers. Early in the development programme, as a result of the emphasis in the Queensland dairy industry switching from the Jersey to the Holstein-Friesian - due to the latter's higher levels of milk production - it was decided to concentrate on the Holstein-Friesian to supply the Bos taurus component of the breed. Limited data from tropical areas suggested that under most tropical conditions, a 50-50 mix of Bos indicus and Bos taurus genes would give optimum levels of both milk production and reproduction. As a result, it was decided that the breed should be based on a combination of 50% Holstein-Friesian and 50% Sahiwal. The decision to base the breed on a 50-50 mix has subsequently been justified by a number of studies that have looked at various levels of Bos taurus and Bos indicus gene contents at various locations throughout the tropics. Reason (1986) has summarised the studies that have been done to date. (a) Milk production per lactation While most of the crossbreeding programmes reported here were designed on the premise of being site specific, results from these experiments lead to the general conclusion that 50% Bos indicus and 50% Bos taurus gives close to the optimum milk production performance. A summary of a range of studies is presented in Table 1.

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The data presented in Table 1 include pooled results from a number of sites (Amble and Jain 1967 Sivasupramanian et al. 1983, Syrstad 1985) as well as specific site studies (Sharma et al. 1982, Cheah and Kumar 1984). These results show that, milk production from purebred Bos indicus and purebred Bos taurus cattle is low, and that an almost normal distribution of milk yield versus percentage Bos taurus content is suggested, with peak milk yield in the range of 50% to 62.5% Bos taurus content. The relatively high milk production for purebred Bos indicus cattle reported by Amble and Jain (1967) and Syrstad (1985) would suggest specialised treatment for these indigenous cattle at some of the sites used to provide data. TABLE 1. Comparative milk production performance (litres per cow per lactation) for a range of Bos taurus and Bos taurus genotype combinations at various sites throughout the tropics. % Bos taurus Indian (1)* 1840 2240 2330 2350 2560 2120 1570 1780 Sub continent (2)* 2264 2543 2525 2076 Milk Prod'n (L) Brazil (3)* 1055 1434 1507 1590 2028 2019 2065 1977 2176 (4)* 2332 2336 2435 2567 2527 2238 1992 1852 1582 Malaysia (5)* 1498 1537 (6)* 1544 -

100.0 87.5 75.0 62.5 50 37.5 25.0 12.5 0.0 *Source:

(1) Amble and Jain (1967) (2) Sharma et al. (1982) (3) Syrstad (1985) (4) Madalena (1981) (5) Sivasupramanian et al. (1983) (6) Cheah and Kumar (1984)

(b) Reproductive Performance Because of the economic value of livestock in tropical countries reproductive performance is an

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important consideration in the evaluation of environmental adaptation. There have been numerous reports of poor reproductive performance of Bos taurus dairy cattle in tropical environments. Vaccaro (1973) reviewed the reproductive performance of purebred and crossbred dairy cattle in the tropics. She concluded that, while instances of good reproductive performance had (up to 1973) been reported for Bos taurus dairy cattle in the tropics, there was still cause for concern at the ability of these animals to equal the reproductive performance of the Bos indicus animals they are intended to replace. The only available examples of comparable reproductive performance have been reported from intensively managed dairy units using well trained and technically skilled staff. Reproductive performance may be considered as a combination of two criteria; age to first calving and inter calving interval. These are considered separately below. Age at First Calving Purebred Bos taurus cattle when reared in the tropics often show delayed age at first calving. The delays in the attainment of sexual maturity may be seen as having two major components, a slow growth rate resulting in a delay in achieving the weight at which sexual maturity occurs, and a failure to conceive after attaining sexual maturity due to a number of hormonal and animal management considerations. A summary of a range of studies on age at first calving is presented in Table 2. TABLE 2 Age at first calving (months) for a range of Bos taurus and Bos indicus genotypes combinations throughout the tropics. % Bos taurus 100.0 87.5 75.0 62.5 50 37.5 25.0 12.5 0.0 *Source (1) Syrstad (1985) (2) Raheja and Bhat (1982) (3) Amble and Jain (1967) (4) Hadalena (1981) Milk Prod'n (L) -continent Brazil (3)* (4)* 37.1 45.6 36.2 36.0 43.4 35.9 36.2 40.0 37.6 37.7 38.3 -

Indian (1)* 32.0 34.8 34.0 33.7 32.0 36.3 37.2 41.1 42.2

Sub (2)* 33.8 41.8

Malaysia (5)* 37.3 37.8 36.4 38.3 35.2 38.3 -

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(5) Teodoro et al. (1984) The data in Table 2 indicate that a 50% Bos indicus content is the preferred option in selecting a type of animal which can grow and attain sexual maturity at a reasonable age in the tropics. Animals which calve at an earlier age generate more income from milk and calf sales. Bos indicus cattle are generally late maturing. Bos taurus cattle are capable of earlier mating but due to effects such as poor feed quality and quantity, low growth rate and delayed hormonal development their age at first calving often ranges from 32 to 46 months. In each comparison reported in Table 2 the 50% Bos indicus animal is close to the youngest age at first calving. Intercalving Interval The interval between successive calvings is often used as an index of reproductive performance and economic efficiency. Research in America has shown that the production of milk is maximised when intercalving intervals are as close as possible to 365 days (Louca and Legates, 1968). As the gestation period is relatively constant, the major source of variation in intercalving intervals is the calving to conception period (Touchberry et al. 1959). In an analysis of 6,351 first lactations and 17,978 later lactations, Olds et al. (1979) found that within herds, each additional day in the calving to conception period (days open) in the range from 40 - 140 days, resulted in a decrease in annual production of 4.5 kg of milk during the first lactation, and 8.6 kg of milk in later lactations. Examples of intercalving intervals for a range of Bos taurus and Bos indicus genotype combinations for a number of experiments reported in the literature are given in Table 3. TABLE 3 Inter calving intervals (days) for a range of B= taurus and @ indicus genotype combinations at various sites throughout the tropics. % Bos taurus 100.0 87.5 75.0 62.5 50 37.5 25.0 12.5 0.0 *Source Milk Prod'n (L) Indian (1)* 463 450 444 423 423 432 442 440 448 Sub -continent (2)* 424 413 382 380 (3)* 443 463 463 456 425 443 411 423 Brazil (4)* 398 397 Malaysia (5)* 538 529 467 -

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(1) Syrstad (1985) (2) Sharma et al. (1982) (3) Amble and Jain (1967) (4) Sivasupramaniam et al. (1983) (5) Madalena (1981) The data in Table 3 further support the conclusion that a genotype of 50% Bos taurus and 50% Bos indicus is the most suitable for maximising reproductive performance in the tropics. Reductions in intercalving intervals for 50% Bos taurus relative to 100% Bos taurus of 20-40 days on the Indian sub continent, and up to 70 days in Brazil, represent significant gains in milk production with an extra lactation over a ten year period in India, and an extra lactation in 6-7 years in Brazil. This represents a 10-15% increase in lifetime milk production as a result of improvements in reproductive performance. (c) Animal Performance Indices. An attempt to account for variation in lactation milk yields and interleaving intervals when appraising animal performance has led to the use of an index of milk production per day of interleaving interval (Sivasupramaniam et al. 1983). This index takes into account three distinct factors: the period that the cow is non-productive because of failure to conceive, the effect of long non-pregnant periods on lactation performance in the current lactation, and the effect of length of dry period on body condition reserves and therefore milk production potential in the subsequent lactation. Some examples of the index, milk production per day of intercalving interval, derived from published data on milk yield and length of the interleaving interval are given in Table 4. TABLE 4. Milk production (L) per day of intercalving interval for a range of Bos taurus and Bos indicus genotype combinations throughout the tropics. % Bos taurus 100.0 87.5 75.0 62.5 50 37.5 25.0 12.5 0.0 *Source Milk Prod'n (L) Indian (1)* 2.3 3.2 3.4 3.8 4.8 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.9 Sub -continent (2)* 5.3 6.2 6.6 5.5 (3)* 4.2 4.8 5.0 5.2 6.0 4.8 3.9 4.2 Brazil (4)* 3.8 3.9 Malaysia (5)* 4.3 4.6 5.4 -

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(1) Syrstad (1985) (2) Sharma et al. (1982) (3) Amble and Jain (1967) (4) Sivasupramaaian et al. (1983) Madalena (1981) The results in Table 4 show the superiority of the 50% Bos taurus and 50% Bos indicus genotype in the combination of milk production and reproductive performance characteristics. This index gives a direct measure of the efficiency of milk production by combining milk yield and length of intercalving interval. It can also provide a measure of economic value by including return per litre of milk in the calculation. In the data reported by Syrstad (1985), a 50% Bos taurus cow produced more than twice the milk per day of intercalving interval than a 100% Bos taurus animal. AFS Breeding Programme In the early stages of the AFS breeding programme Sahiwal bulls were mated to Holstein-Friesian cows to produce Fl (First cross) animals which were subsequently tested for both milk production and tick resistance. Both Alexander et al. (1984), with the AFS, and Hayman (1973) with the Australian Milking Zebu have reported that large numbers of Fl animals had to be culled from the programme due to a failure to let down milk under machine milking conditions in the absence of the calf. Hayman reported a culling rate of 59% with the AMZ Fl animals, which were based on Jerseys crossed with either Sahiwal or Sindhi sires. Alexander et al. (1984) reported that the culling rate of AFS Fl animals between 1977 and 1983 was 60% for heifers not milking at 120 days. There were large differences in the culling rates of daughters of different Sahiwal sires with the rate varying from 28% to 85% for the daughters of the different sires. Reason et al. (1979) reported that the culling rate due to the failure to achieve lactation persistency in second generation heifers was markedly reduced (mean of 28%) even though female progeny of failed Fl heifers were retained in the breeding programme. This indicates that sire Selection plays an important role in eliminating this trait and that response is rapid (Stohoe and Waldron 1982). In later generations the "failure to milk" syndrome has virtually been eliminated. F2 and later generations were produced by inter-se matings to ensure that a genotype of approximately 50% Sahiwal and 50% Holstein-Friesian was maintained in subsequent generations. Evaluation of F2, and Subsequent Generation Bulls Alexander et al. (1985) have described the bull proving programme which was commenced is 1976 in the AFS breed. Between 1976 and 1984 young bulls were selected for testing from the progeny of mating the sons of high producing cows to cows of similar high production. All bulls tested have been of F2 or later generation.

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The matings were carried out either in Research Station or cooperating farmers' herds. Bull calves were collected at between 1 and 6 months of age and transported to the Department's Artificial Breeding Centre at Wacol, Queensland. Up to ten bulls had been assembled at Wacol for each progeny test group. They were fed a standard ration to 15-18 months of age and growth rate was measured. At that age semen production and tick resistance was evaluated. Tick resistance is known to have a high heritability, ranging from 40% in animals with a low Bos indicus content (Hewitson, 1968, Wharton et al. 1970), to almost 80% in animals with greater than 50% Bos taurus content (Seifert, 1971). Bulls in the 1976 and 1977 test groups were tick tested by ranking them on their tick burdens resulting from natural paddock infestation. These rankings were based on a minimum of three counts. Selection for the 1978 and subsequent groups was based on a method of evaluating tick resistance to artificial infestations with 20 000 tick larvae (Utech et al. 1978). After infestation, the resulting engorged females (4.5-8.0 mm diameter) were counted on each of the 18th to 22nd days following infestation. A minimum resistance standard of 98% larval mortality was set (Reason and Clark, 1979) and a mean level of 99.1% was achieved (Alexander et al. 1984). The bulls were not screened for heat resistance as all progeny have been evaluated in Queensland or the Northern Territory under natural conditions of high temperatures (> 30oC during at least the summer months). Semen from the progeny test bulls was used to inseminate either AFS or Bos taurus (mainly HolsteinFriesian) cows or heifers. The resulting heifers had their milk and fat production recorded on a monthly basis at least during their first lactation. Corrections were made for the genotype of the heifers. The aim was to produce a minimum of at least 20 daughters from each bull. This was not achieved in all cases. In 1983, the bulls in the 1976 and 1977 teams were evaluated using the technique of contemporary comparison. The 1984 team of bulls was the first team that were the progeny of proven bulls. Subsequent teams have continued to be the progeny of proven bulls. Since 1984, the AFS bulls, along with all other dairy bulls in Australia, have been evaluated by the Australian Dairy herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) using the technique of Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP). This allows comparisons of bulls in different years. Under this scheme all bulls within a breed have an Australian Breeding Value (ABV) calculated. This is a measure of the genetic merit of the bull, relative to a base of the mean genetic merit of Artificial Breeding (AB) bulls of the breed in Australia in 1980-81. To date, 22 bulls have been evaluated by ADHIS with ABV's with reliability of 30% or more. This is the equivalent of 10 effective daughters in at least 3 herds. The least number of actual daughters is 13, in 6 herds, while the highest number of daughters is 66, in 21 herds. The average number of daughters per

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bull is 27 daughters in 12 herds. The higher the reliability, the less likely the ABV is to change as more information becomes available. The 22 bulls have an average ABV of -1 litres of milk, +1 kg of fat, +0.02 % fat deviation, 0 kg of protein and -0.05 % protein deviation. Bulls with negative proofs have been culled, and there are currently seven bulls with plentiful amounts of semen available. These have, average ABV's of +88 litres of milk, +4 kg of fat, +0.02 % fat deviation, +1.5 kg of protein and -0.11 % protein deviation. Only the very best of these bulls will be used to breed young bulls for future progeny testing. The bulls currently being used to breed young bulls have average ABV's of +188 litres of milk, +10 kg of fat, +0.12% fat deviation, +2 kg of protein and 0.15% protein deviation. Production and Reproduction in AFS Cows. In discussing levels of production achieved by AFS cows it must first be stressed that the absolute levels of production achieved under any situation depend more on management and feeding than on genetics. Under Australian conditions, where milk prices are relatively low, very high levels of production, which would require high levels of supplementary feeding , are not economic and are therefore not attempted. The production levels reported in this paper are from cattle grazed under extensive pasture conditions not stall fed cattle under intensive conditions. Thus, with the Holstein-Friesian breed, the average recorded production in Queensland in 1985-86 was 3875 litres of milk and 148 kg of butterfat, with an average lactation length of 282 days. This is despite the fact that there appears to be little genetic difference between Australian Holstein-Friesians and those in Europe and North America, where average productions in excess of 6000 litres are common. The difference in production is due to nutrition and management - not genetics. (a) Milk and butterfat production Under these grazing conditions and in the relatively sub-tropical conditions which exist throughout most of Queensland, the AFS cows in 1985-86 produced an average of 2944 litres of milk and 121 kg of butterfat with a test of 4.1% in an average lactation of 269 days. This compared with average figures for the Holstein-Friesian of 3875 litres of milk and 148 kg of butterfat at a test of 3.8% in 282 days. Thus, the AFS produced 76% of the milk and 82% of the fat of that produced by Holstein-Friesians during the same period. These figures are on a statewide basis. When compared on a within-herd basis, it was found that 38% of all AFS cows produced higher levels of milk than Bos taurus herd mates of the same age. Similarly, 45% of AFS cows produced more butterfat than their Bos taurus herd mates of the same age. This reflects the fact that the AFS cattle throughout most of Queensland have not been run in the higher producing herds, where one would expect the performance of the Holstein-Friesian to be superior. The overall comparison of the AFS and the Holstein-Friesian on a Statwide basis would be biased to some degree against the AFS.

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(b) Changes in production levels While considering the Statewide production levels it is of interest to examine the change in the relative productions of the AFS and the Holstein-Friesians over the last six years. In the period 1980-81 to 1982-83, the average lactation production of the AFS was 2268 litres of milk and 92 kg of fat. This compared with the average production of the Holstein-Friesian during the same period of 3430 litres of milk and 129 kg of fat. Thus, over this 3 year period, the AFS produced 66 % of the milk and 71 % of the fat produced by the Holstein-Friesian on a statewide basis. By contrast, during the period 1983-84 to 1985-86 the average productions were:AFS: Holstein-Friesian: 2807 litres of milk and 116 kg of fat 3790 litres of milk and 145 kg of fat

Thus, during this latter three year period, the AFS produced 74 % of the milk and 80 % of the fat produced by the Holstein-Friesian. The performance of the AFS relative to the Holstein-Friesian improved by 8 % in milk production and 9 % in fat production in the period 1983-84 to 1985-86 compared with the period 1980-81 to 1982-83. The significance of these time periods is that it is in the most recent 3 years that the progeny of proven AFS bulls were first starting to enter the recording system. (c) Elite Animals While the average production of the AFS cows in Queensland averaged 2944 litres of milk and 121 kg of fat, there were a number of elite cows with-productions well in excess of this. These high productions were once again achieved under extensive pasture grazing conditions. The percentage of AFS cows with elite 300 day productions were: Over 5000 litres of milk 4000 to 5000 litres of milk Over 200kg of fat 160 to 200kg of fat : : : : 2.5% 13.0% 2.8% 16.0%

It is these elite animals which are currently being used in the AFS genetic improvement programme. (d) Performance under tropical conditions The figures quoted to date have been under the relatively sub-tropical conditions which exist throughout most of the dairying areas of Queensland. The performance of the AFS relative to the Holstein-Friesian under tropical conditions is more indicative of the potential of the AFS for developing dairying industries in tropical countries. Milk production and reproductive data are available from the Northern Territory of Australia, while growth rate data are available from Ayr in Northern Queensland.

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The Northern Territory data come from a property 40 km south-east of Darwin (lat. 12 28'S, long. 130 50'E). The average minimum temperature in Darwin ranges from 190C in July to 250C in December, with the average maximum temperature ranging from 300C in July to 330C in December. The relative humidity ranges from 64 % in winter to 85 % in summer. Under those conditions, and again in an extensive grazing situation, the AFS averaged 2556 litres of milk and 105 kg of fat, compared with Holstein-Friesian production of 2291 litres of milk and 82 kg of fat. Thus, the AFS milk production was 11.6 % above that of the Holstein-Friesian, while butterfat production was 27.1 % above that of the Holstein-Friesian. Further, the AFS was found to have a 12.6 % shorter length of dry period than the Holstein-Friesian and a 18.2 % shorter intercalving interval. The interleaving interval for the AFS was 389 days, compared with 448 days for the Holstein-Friesian. Some data regarding growth rates are available from the Department's Ayr Research Station. Ayr is situated in the dry tropics at lat. 19 32'S and long. 147 25'E. It has a mean minimum temperature ranging from 11 C in July to 24 C in January, with mean maxima ranging from 250C in June to 340C in January. The relative humidity ranges from 64 % in September to 78 % in February. Under these conditions, AFS animals were found to have pre-weaning growth rates of 0.72 kg/day when fed 10-12 % milk to a weaning weight of 91 kg. This was a 26 % faster growth rate than obtained for Holstein-Friesians. When grazed on pangola pasture at 17.5 animals/hectare plus ad lib concentrate (4:1 grain:meatmeal) from 8 to 26 weeks, the AFS calves gained at 0.82 kg/day to reach 162 kg by 26 weeks of age. When the concentrate ration was restricted to 0.5 kg per day (c.f. 3.2 kg/day consumption under ad lib feeding), the AFS growth rate was 0.39 kg/day to reach a weight of 112 kg by 26 weeks. The growth rates for the AFS calves were some 11 % higher than those for Sahiwal-Jersey cross calves under the same conditions. Future Genetic Improvement in the AFS Breed The genetic progress recorded to date with the AFS breed has been obtained through a conventional bull proving programme. Nicholas and Smith (1983) report that the maximum rate of genetic progress possible from such a programme is of the order of I % per year. With the relatively low numbers of AFS cattle currently in Queensland it is unlikely that this rate of genetic progress can be achieved through conventional bull proving. The same authors report that by using a Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET) programme, rates of genetic gain of up to 2.5 % per year are possible. Such a programme has now been established at, the Queensland Department of Primary Industries' Warrill View Research Station. There, the elite cows of the AFS breed have been gathered into one herd. The MOET programme involves hormone treatment of these elite cows to produce multiple ovulations from each cow. The embryos are then placed into recipient cows to carry the unborn calf until birth.

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The aim of this programme is to produce ten pregnancies per year from each of 20 elite heifers. The female progeny (80-120 per year) are mated so as to calve at approximately 2 years of age. The progeny of the elite cows will be selected on their own early lactation performance, as well as that of their full and half sisters, and their dams' first three lactations. Young bulls will be selected on the basis of their female relatives' lactation performance. Such a programme allows the generation interval to be almost halved from 6 years to between 3 and 4 years. It also allows selection to be concentrated in the elite cows of the breed, greatly increasing the selection differential possible. These two factors combine to produce the higher rates of annual genetic gain reported by Nicholas and Smith. The first progeny.of the elite cows in the MOET programme will commence their first lactation in 1988 and from then on both bulls and cows of very high genetic merit will be produced each year. Introduction of AFS Breed into Tropical Dairying Industries There are a number of options available for incorporating the ongoing genetic improvement which is being achieved in the AFS breed development programme into developing dairying industries in tropical countries. A number of countries have attempted to improve their dairy industries either by importing pure Bos taurus cattle or by importing unselected Fl Sahiwal x Holstein-Friesian cattle. In the first situation it has been found that the Bos taurus cattle seldom produce at the levels that were attained in their country of origin. This applied particularly when the cattle were placed into either a pasture grazing situation or a cut and carry feeding situation. The lack of adaptation to a tropical environment and the poorer capacity to produce under less favourable feed conditions usually result, as indicated earlier, in pure Bos taurus cows not performing as well as cows which are approximately 50 % Bos taurus and 50 % Bos indicus. This applies to both milk production and reproduction. Two problems have usually been associated with the importation of unselected Fl Sahiwal x HolsteinFriesian cattle. Firstly, a proportion of animals will exhibit the "failure to milk" syndrome especially if they are to be milked under a machine milking situation. Secondly, there is a problem in selecting sires to use over these Fl cattle. If they are mated to either pure Bos taurus (imported) or pure Bos indicus (local) cattle the progeny will once again move away from the optimum 50-50 mix of Bos indicus and Bos taurus genes. If they are mated to other Fl cattle, there is usually no scope for carrying out any type of genetic improvement programme, and so although the optimum 50-50 gene mix would be maintained, no genetic progress would be made. By making use of the AFS breed it is possible to develop an industry which is based on the optimum 5050 mix of Bos indicus and Bos taurus as well as taking advantage of the ongoing genetic programmes currently in place with the AFS. There are several ways in which AFS genetic material could be used as the basis for a developing

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As there are low numbers of purebred AFS cattle in Australia, the direct importation of either live cattle or embryos will be very limited, although 20 AFS heifers and cows have recently been exported from Queensland to Malaysia. . As discussed earlier, there are plentiful supplies of semen from proven AFS bulls. This could be used in a grading up programme, based on purebred cattle - either Bos indicus or Bos taurus, or crossbred cattle, which are currently in the country. As proven AFS semen has become available, the number of doses of this semen exported from the Wacol AB Centre in Queensland has risen dramatically. In 1984, just under 8,000 doses of AFS semen were exported. This figure rose to 18,500 doses in 1985 and should be between 25,000 and 30,000 doses in 1986. Most of this has been exported to South-East Asia and Central and South America. Thirdly, it would be possible to import Appendix 3 AFS (AFS x Holstein-Friesian) heifers which were themselves in calf to AFS sires, so that their progeny would be Appendix 2 AFS animals. These Appendix 2 progeny could be graded-up through two more crossings with proven AFS semen to pure AFS. Such a grading-up programme would allow evaluation, in particular areas, of gene combinations of Bos taurus and Bos indicus other than 50-50. This may be appropriate in areas where the environment, management and feeding were better than in most tropical areas. Conclusion The Australian Friesian Sahiwal (AFS) has been developed as a tropically adapted dairy breed of cattle, based on a 50-50 mix of Sahiwal and Holstein-Friesian genes. Genetic improvement within the breed has, to date, been based on a conventional bull proving programme. A number of proven bulls and elite cows have been identified. Future genetic improvement will be based on a Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET) programme. While the Bos taurus breeds are generally the highest producing dairy breeds under temperate conditions, animals with a 50-50 mix of Bos indicus and Bos taurus genes generally perform best under tropical conditions. The AFS not only offers the opportunity of using animals with such a gene mix in tropical countries, but through grading up programmes, advantage can be taken of the ongoing genetic improvement being made in the AFS breed. References Alexander G.I., Reason G.K. and Clark C.H. (1984) The development of the Australian Friesian Sahiwal - a tick resistant dairy breed World Animal Rev. 51:27-34 Alexander G.I., Tierney M.L. and Reason, G.K. (1985) Selection of Australian Friesian Sahiwal dairy cattle for milk and fat production. Proceedings 3rd AAAP Animal Science Congress, Seoul, Korea P.227-229 Amble V.N. and Jain J.P. (1967) Comparative performance of different grades of crossbred cows on military farms in India. J. Dairy Sci. 50: 1695-1702

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Cheah P.F. and Kumar R.A. (1984) Preliminary observations of the performance of Bos taurus x Sahiwal Dairy Cattle. Report of the Veterinary Institute. Kulaniz, Jahore, Hayman H.H. (1973) Bos indicus and Bos taurus crossbred dairy cattle in Australia: II - Effect of calf removal and prolactin treatment on lactation in crossbred Bos indicus x Bos taurus females. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 24: 449-456 Hewitson R.W. (1968) Resistance of cattle to cattle tick Boophilus microolus II - The inheritance of resistance to experimental infestations. Aust. J. Agric Res. 19:497-505 Louca A. and Legates J.E. (1968) Production losses in dairy cattle due to days open. J. Dairy Sci. 51:573-583. Madalena F.E. (1981) Cross breeding strategies for dairy cattle in Brazil. World Anim, Rev. 38:23-30 Nicholas F.W. and Smith C. (1983) Increased rates of genetic change in dairy cattle by embryo transfer and splitting. Animal Prod, 36: 341-353 Olds D., Cooper T. and Thrift F.A. (1979) Effect of days open on economic aspects of current lactation. J. Dairy Sci. 62:1167-1170 Raheja K.L. and Bhat P.N. (1982) Note on the comparative performance of three zebu breeds and their Fl crosses with Holstein-Friesian for certain economic traits. India J. Anim, Sci. 52(5) :333-336 Reason G.K. (1986) The comparative performance of dairy cattle breeds in a stressful environment at Darwin, Northern Territory. M.Sc. Thesis School of Australian Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Reason G.K. and Clark C.H. (1979) Tick resistance evaluations in a dairy breed development programme. Proc. Inaugural Conf. Aust. Assoc. Animal breeding and Genetics, Armidale p. 234-235 Reason G.K., Clark C.H. and Goodchild I.K. (1979) Comparative milk production of first, second and third generation females in a dairy breed development programme. Proc, Inaugural Conf. Aust. Assoc. Animal Breeding and Genetics. Armidale p. 65 Seifert G.W. (1971) Variation between and within breeds of cattle in resistance to field infestations of the cattle tick (Boophilus microplus)., Aust, J. Agric, Res. 22:159 Sharma J.M., Dhingra M.M. and Gurung B.S. (1982) Note on the genetic and non-genetic factors affecting some production traits in crossbred (Friesian x Sahiwal) cattle. Indian J. Anim, Sci 52(1) :42-45 Sivasupramaniam G., Clark H.H. and Nordin Keling M. (1983) An Interim

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report of milk yield and calving intervals of imported Freisain, Jersey and AMZ cattle on Majuternak farms. Proc. Malaysia Soc. Anim. Prod. 5:105-117 Stokoe J. and Waldron M. (1982) An evaluation of the milking ability of Australian Friesian Sahiwal heifers. Proc. Aust. Assoc. Animal Breeding and Genetics 3:153-154 Syrstad 0. (1985) Heterosis in Bos taurus x Bos indicus crosses. Livestock Prod. Science 12:299-307 Teodoro R.L., Lemos A.M., Barbosa R.T. and Madalena F.E. (1984) Comparative performance of six Holstein-Friesian x Guzera grades in Brazil: 2. Traits related to the onset of the sexual function. Anim. Prod. 38:165-170 Touchberry R.W., Rottensten K. and Andersen H. (1959) Associations between service interval, interval from first service to conception, number of services per conception and level of butterfat production. J. Dairy Sci. 42:1157-1170 Utech K.B.S., Wharton R.H. and Kerr J.D. (1978) Resistance to Boophilus microplus (Canestrini) in different breeds of cattle Aust, J. Agric, Res 29:885895 Vaccaro L.P. de (1973) Some aspects of the performance of purebred and crossbred dairy cattle in the tropics: 1. Reproductive efficiency in females. Animal Breeding Abstracts 41(12):571-591 Wharton R.H., Utech K.B.W. and Turner H.G. (1970) Resistance to the cattle tick Boophilus microplus in a herd of Australian Illawarra Shorthorn cattle: its assessment and heritability. Aust, J. Agric. Res. 21:163-181

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