Crossbreeding of Cattle in Africa
R Trevor Wilson

Africa is endowed with a very wide range of mostly Bos indicus indigenous cattle breeds. A general statement with regard to their performance for meat or milk is that they are of inferior genetic value. Attempts to improve their performance have rarely relied on within-breed improvement but have concentrated on crossing to supposedly superior exotic Bos taurus types. Exotic types have not always – indeed have rarely -- been chosen on objective criteria and the imported breeds generally indicate the colonial past of individual African countries rather than on use of “the right animal in the right place”. Most attempts at increasing output have been undertaken under research station conditions. Results on station have been very variable but the limited success achieved has rarely been carried over in to the general African cattle population. This paper documents a number of attempts to alter the genetic make-up of African cattle in several countries and discusses the reasons for the failure of most of these.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v7n1a3