Thursday, 12 July 2018

Auerrind cattle are taking shape

Claus Kropp from the Auerrind project just published some new current photos of the first-generation Auerrind crosses at Kloster Lorsch, Germany, on facebook. It looks like they are becoming little bulls and cows now, not calves anymore, and start to take their final shape and colouration. All of them are copyright by Claus Kropp, so please do not replicate without permission. 

Maremmana x Watussi 
© Claus Kropp
© Claus Kropp
In the bull, it looks like Maremmana has absorbed almost all of the zebuine traits (at least those not present in Podolian cattle anyway, which are already influenced by zebus), only a slight hint of the zebuine hump seems to have remained. Watussi contributed dominant alleles for the expression of red pigment in the coat. So in the end, the bull might look like a red Maremmana bull with large horns, which would be a pretty interesting sight. A (Maremmana x Watussi) x Sayaguesa might be a combination worth considering, it might end up similar as Sayaguesa x Watussi but with less zebuine influence and a better winter coat. 

Sayaguesa x Chianina 
© Claus Kropp
© Claus Kropp
Both the Auerrind project and the Lippeaue have produced a couple of Sayaguesa x Chianina in sum by now, and it seems that about 50% of the bulls of this combination have a wildtype colouration and 50% have a diluted coat colour. I do not know why. However, it does not matter at all what the phenotype of these F1 look like since both the phenotypically wildtype and the colour-diluted individuals will have both alleles and pass on one of these with a 50/50 probability. So I think that this bull should be used for further breeding in any case. Its offspring will have the potential for a correct, un-diluted wildtype colour, even in a homozygous state (although it not the statistically most likely case). 

Sayaguesa x Hungarian Grey 
This cow seems to develop a slender body, the colour is diluted and the horns will probably end up Steppe cattle-like. Together with a bull of the same combination, a Sayaguesa x Chianina or a pure Sayaguesa it might produce interesting results. 

It also seems that they are giving the combination Chianina x Watussi a try again, which I am very much looking forward to: 
© Claus Kropp
They also published a promo video on a new youtube channel: 

I have to say it is very exciting to watch the Auerrind project progress. They have very, very good founding individuals and are trying interesting and promising combinations. I think they have the potential to produce very aurochs-like individuals in perhaps the second and very likely the third generation already. 

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