In the two previous posts, I outlined why it might be advantageous to introduce some useful but not currently used breeds into the “breeding-back” population as a whole. Those breeds would have genetic, morphologic and ecologic benefits and in the first post, I introduced a selection of European and European-descending breeds and in the previous one, the Turano-Mongolian cattle group. I also mentioned that we should get us an overview over the landraces in the Near and Middle East before they disappear.
I presented a long list and it is by far not complete. However, for those who wonder what I breeds I would choose to work with, I decided to write an extra post. Of course, single breeds that have the right combination of traits could be bred into existing projects just to increase genetic diversity. But to me, it would be fun to think of a project that starts completely from a new with these breeds, and to gain a maximum of genetic diversity from within this set.
I would acquire cows from Tudanca, Camargue, Barrosa, Angeln (paying attention on getting such with inwards-facing, aurochs-like horns), Modicana, Avilena (trying to get well-horned cows), Alistana-Sanabresa and slender Wagyu. Then, for the first round, I would inseminate the cows with semen from bulls of Texas Longhorn, Corriente, Florida Cracker (trying to get one from a mother with aurochs-like horns), Chillingham cattle, Maltese, Yakutian cattle and well-built other Turano-Mongolian bulls. The combinations do not matter that much, because in the end all genes will be mixed up. But for breeding bulls, I would prefer three combinations in the second generations: (Tudanca x Maltese) x Corriente, (Texas Longhorn x Modicana) x Corriente, (Barrosa x Maltese) x Maltese. I would also produce individuals for Corriente and Maltese that are at least 75% pure, mixed with breeds that either supply horn volume (for Maltese) or size (for Corriente). Since genetics work by chance, one would have to pick the best individuals of these combinations, and after a sufficient amount of time, all kinds of possible combinations would be produced and many of them can deliver good breeding bulls. In general, I would like two breeds to have a stronger influence in the herd(s), Maltese and Corriente. Maltese because of their large size, long-legged build and long skulls, and Corriente because of their aurochs-like build and horns. Some Corriente look like miniature versions of the best Taurus bulls (f.e. see here) and some even have comparably largehorns.
This mix would be very diverse at the beginning. Not only genetically, but also morphologically and regarding colour. I would worry the least about colour, as it is regulated by the fewest genes (more on that later). Which combinations are best can only be shown by experience, and also if some breeds do not meet the appointments. One would have to try it. I am, of course, aware of the fact that such a project would be very expensive (because of acquiring all the semen alone), and you would have to start with probably at last thirty animals if you want to build up a significantly large population and therefore also need the area size and more money. Apart from that, it would have to be run by patient people, because a lot of combinations would not look good at the beginning but bear potential for later generations.