Sunday, 24 July 2016

An aurochs-coloured Sayaguesa x Chianina bull

Several Sayaguesa x Chianina cross animals have been born in the Lippeaue so far, when the Sayaguesa bull Churro covered the Chianina cows at Klostermersch. Two cows of that combination are still in the Lippeaue population (Bionade and 79 810). Both cows have a diluted coat colour, which is to be expected since Chianina has mutated alleles on at least two dilution loci (Agouti and Dun, Olson 1999), and at least one of them is semi-dominant. Heck x Chianina cows are diluted as well. 
Heck x Chianina bulls had a diluted fur colour as well, but to varying extent. Leonardo, the half-Chianina bull that was sold to Denmark, had a light colour saddle but had black-coloured areas too. Luca, a half-Chianina bull that was covered here extensively already, was mostly coloured in dark brown with much beige areas (mind that winter coat is always darker than summer coat in cattle). 

So we would expect a Sayaguesa x Chianina bull to have a colour similar to that of Heck x Chianina bulls. In 2014, I was sent a photo of a young bull of that combination by Matthias Scharf. That individual was of a greyish tone and more diluted than the cows of the same combination, and even way more diluted than the half-Heck bulls. This was surprising to me, especially since the colour of Sayaguesa seemed to be more intense and dominant in crossbreeds with Heck. The bull was slaughtered because of its colour and the tiny horn in autumn of the same year. 

Nevertheless, while searching through my Lippeaue photo archive I was provided by Matthias Scharf, I discovered another young Sayaguesa x Chianina bull. Its number was 42 624 (born 2010, dispeared from the stock list after 2012), and like Bionade its parents were Churro and Eloisa, so they where fullblood siblings. Interestingly, this bull's coat colour was not diluted at all, it even had only a very faint saddle that was not visible in its winter coat and might have gotten outgrown if it would have reached full age. 

The photos show him at the age of one  (uppermost) and two years. As you see, the horns of this individuals were still meagre, but that is simply what you get from that combination. It seems that its hump was not that developed as in its grey coloured halfblood brother of the same combination, but it was still high on the legs at this age at least. I don't know whether 42 624 was slaughtered or sold alive, in any way it was not kept in the herd. 

Whether or not this bull might have grown tall or well-shaped, it shows two facts: 1) looking at just one individual of a breed combination is by far not enough to judge the potential in it, especially for F1 individuals, which are, after all, genetically of little relevance; 2) there is potential for accurately coloured Sayaguesa-Chianina crosses even in the first generation. Combining those two breeds might result in very useful animals for further breeding in being large, tall, muscular and well-shaped, with a good skull shape and colour. But of course the whole spectrum from that to disappointing is possible, and most results would be inbetween. In any case, if 42 624 would have been kept for a few years more he might have produced interesting results with his (half-blood-)sisters of the same combination. However, I understand that this animal was removed because of the negative influence on horn shape and size it might have had since its horns are far away from the breeding objective. 

As I recently reported, the Auerrindprojekt is now planning to produce some animals of that combination. Maybe we are going to see some F2 Sayaguesa-Chianina in the future. Of course either large quantity or simply luck is needed to unite the full potential of both breeds within early cross generations. 

19 comments:

  1. That bull has extremely large knees in proportion to it's size; either some kind of infection or else a sign that it was going to grow to a large size.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe these epic knees could support more than 1 ton...

      Delete
  2. Maybe some addition of european bison could have a positive influence on the shape ? Watered down to 1/8...otherwise mostly Sayaguesa...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why cannot the Watussi be used with chinning. Could they not use AI?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Couldn't agree more Tony, I also don't know why the Watussi could not be crossed with the Chianina, perhaps Daniel could comment

    ReplyDelete
  5. If these should be crossed to Watusi-cattle, maybe it would make sense to stick to this strain :
    http://agtr.ilri.cgiar.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=98&Itemid=116
    http://www.agriculturesnetwork.org/magazines/global/cultivating-diversity/valuing-indigenous-breeds

    ReplyDelete
  6. What is with the Pajuna-breed ? It's genetically the closest one to the Auroch. It's near extinction. Wouldn't it make sense to absorb the remains into Sayaguesa, bevor it will vanish entirely ?
    http://www.regionalcattlebreeds.eu/breeds/pajuna.html

    And i think Corriente could be used instead of Chianina, if longer legs are desired. Just try to get everything out of these three breeds.
    ( maybe there will be heavier cattle...but could still be in the range )

    I don't have the impression that it's closer to this due to Chianina :
    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7481/16099278262_63e1771468_b.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Daniel Foidl. Can you please send me your email address to rynojoubert2@gmail.com
    I have interesting information for you regarding the Quagga.

    Regards

    Ryno

    ReplyDelete
  8. A Corriente bull :
    http://www.haleyranch.com/images/LvSk_Bulls_9235_Lg.jpg
    ...it's not a big breed, so maybe Pajuna cows would fit ?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Daniel please get in contact with me at primoculturefarms@gmail.com I'm working on back breeding aurochs in the United States, I've alreay purchased some cows with potential and would live if you could colaborate with me on this project.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've a question regarding DNA...maybe someone knows the answer ?
    So some breeds are genetically closer to an auroch than others - does a remote breed have less of the same auroch-DNA than a close one ? Or do different breeds have different auroch-DNA ?
    Is it possible to get closer to an auroch by mixing breeds, is it like a puzzle ?
    Or will the closer ones just get watered down ?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Daniel,In the effort to get back to good replica of a aurochs, which method would you prefer; the current one of crossbreeding primitive cattle breeds or the one where cattle genes are edited using CRISPR to match the Aurochs genome?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want something that comes truly close to the original aurochs, just crossbreeding with primitive cattle breeds probably cannot do it IMO. I assume that all domestic cattle differ from the aurochs in a number of genetic aspects concerning development, metabolism, local adaptions etc. as a consequence of domestication. "Breeding back" can produce a good look-alike, you can even try to select on haplotypes and SNPs (which are just markers and have a minor influence on the animal's actual physiology and anatomy), the result will always be domestic cattle that differ from the aurochs in those respects I just mentioned.
      Therefore, I think, only genetic methods can truly restore a true aurochs in the original sense, be it genome editing or cloning. There will be still some epigenetic differences, but I think/hope that they will be so marginal that they can be ignored.

      Delete
    2. Would it be possible to monitor a crossbreeding-programm, regarinding genetic distance ?
      For example, one want's a population that has the Mtdna-hoplogroup P, so one starts with some highland-cattle cows.
      These cows can only be crossed with bulls from breeds which are genetically closer to auroch than the highland, and offspring-cows again can only be crossed with bulls that are genetically closer. So, for example the first crosses are between highland and maremmana, and these get crossed with sayaguesa...about that.
      And each cow reproduces more than onces. There would be an average genetic distance to the auroch for each cross, and animals are only used for reproduction if they are closer than the expected average...
      Would this work, or would it become too complicated ?

      Delete
  12. Hi Daniel, I was wondering if I could get your opinion on a possible new species for breeding back projects. I sent you a message about it on the carnivora forum, but if you want me to email it instead you can just contact rhys@tishco.ca with you email adress. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello there, just in case you missed it here is an article on how the european bison is actually an hybrid of auroch with stepe bison: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13158
    This means bisons are 10% auroch 90% stepe bison, with this it might be possible to recreate the stepe bison and maybe even the auroch!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Seems you should look at Wisent for the missing genes: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13158

    ReplyDelete
  15. Is this website still alive, as it's been very quiet for some time. A real pity as I used to follow the interesting articles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The website is still alive, but I have been really busy the last weeks with university and private things, so I had little time for the blog. But that will change, hopefully.

      Delete