What is good and bad about double muscling in cattle? What type of muscling do you get when you cross a double muscled breed with a commercial cow? Can a double muscled bull be safly used on a commercial heifer or a dairy heifer? Thank you
Double muscling does not mean the cattle have a double muscle. It is just a term used because the cattle "appear" to have double muscle. Actually, it is a different grain/texture of muscle. I believe the USDA grading system will "no roll" double muscle cattle - reject them for grading. Double muscled cattle can increase calving difficulties. I would not want to put them on heifers. I BELIEVE that the first cross does not come out truly double muscled, just heavily muscled. I have never had any experience with them, so this is just word of mouth info. And it may vary from breed to breed. Jeanne <A HREF="http://www.SimmeValley.com" TARGET="_blank">http://www.SimmeValley.com</A>
> What is good and bad about double
> muscling in cattle? What type of
> muscling do you get when you cross
> a double muscled breed with a
> commercial cow? Can a double
> muscled bull be safly used on a
> commercial heifer or a dairy
> heifer? Thank you
Double Muscling is expected in some breeds, ie. Belgian Blue, however, it also occurs rarely in Breeds such as Limousin, Blond D'Aquitain, Charlaise, if you will notice these are all from France, not hte Belgian Blue. Double muscling can cause calving difficulty. However the heavily muscled carcass is desirable from a packer's point of view. Any female to be bred to a bull that is double muscled should first be examined for pelvic measurement, preferably have a very large score, and select the bull with a very low Birth weight EPD. Do not use any bull if there is no recorded birth weight on file.
I do have to disagree with one point that you made. The double muscled cattle are not desirable to a commercial packer as they do not "fit" with the rest of the cattle. Double muscled cattle are "no rolled" or rejected by the USDA inspectors under the current grading system. For custom processing this is no problem but for commercial cattle they are an automatic money losing proposition if you can even get any commercial packer or feeder to purchase them in the first place.
That is fine to disagree, but I never disputed the fact that double muscled calves marketed throught the standard market are discounted.
I encourage all my bull buyers to work outside the old market, to claim more profits for their programs. I know that most buyers mistake heavily muscled cattle for double muscled cattle, when infact it is a VERY small % of calves that actually are double muscled, unless we are talking staight Belgian Blues, or any breed that selects for this trait. It is hard to see any change in market share for heavily muscles cattle at the Sale Barn, the same Order Buyers are the ones buying that have been there for years, until you cut the throught of the middle man you will continue to get poor prices, or until they impliment training new buyers to buy live cattle for stockers and feeders. I know about the quality and yeild grade market and what gets discounted too, but what difference does that make when the same old farts are controling the market by old unrealistic ideas. Tear the hide off and there are more simmillarities than differences among breeds & colors. When cattle start getting harvested at their correct end point that will make a difference too.