Friday, 8 November 2019

A Chianina-Sayaguesa breed?

Claus Kropp recently sent me a video of the Chianina cows and one of the Sayaguesa bulls of the Auerrind project running next to each other which was pretty impressive. Not only have the Chianina cows a very useful horn curvature, but also was the bull noticeably larger than the cows, which have a withers height of 165cm. This in turn must mean that the bull is at least 170cm tall. Both are tall and slender breeds; Chianina is larger on average and has a good horn shape, Sayaguesa has the right colour and larger horns but is not always that long-legged as Chianina, and so far all Chianina x Sayaguesa crosses looked good. So I had the idea: why not making a breed that is a mix of exclusively Chianina and Sayaguesa? If well-selected such a herd would have the perfect colour, horns with a very good curvature (albeit not very large) and excellent body size and morphology with long slender faces after a couple of generations. Such a strain would be of great use for any project, be it Tauros, Taurus or the Auerrind project itself. 
What is missing in a Chianina-Sayaguesa mix is a breed that adds the long and thick winter coat, as the winter coat of Chianina is not very long and dense and that of Sayaguesa is not as good as that of f.e. Heck cattle either, additional to the small horn size. A Maremmana x Watussi that would be cautiously bred into the herd might fix that in one shot. The Auerrind project currently has a bull of that combination of which they do not know yet what to breed it to, I would suggest to breed it to some good F2 Sayaguesa x Chianina individuals. 
A Chianina x Sayaguesa bull born in the Lippeaue (© Matthias Scharf)

1 comment:

  1. Great posts recently Daniel. Your suggestion above is interesting and useful. I have thought over the years that I have been following your blog and the various projects that it would be great to have the resources to first of all have lots of individual cattle of the six or seven primitive breeds selected, a few thousand and secondly for a set amount of years to cross breed two breeds only in each location. As the period of time comes to an end you just take the subset that has the desired mix of the starting breeds; height and horns or colour and body shape etc and then move on to combine these to get offspring with all four desired traits. This would take more money and time and realistically unfeasible. From some of your recent posts there are individuals who are well along the way to the desired phenotype. 10 years in the future should show lots of improvements.