Weight gain and behavior of Raramuri Criollo versus Corriente steers developed on Chihuahuan Desert rangeland

TitleWeight gain and behavior of Raramuri Criollo versus Corriente steers developed on Chihuahuan Desert rangeland
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMcIntosh M.M, Cibils A, Estell RE, Soto-Navarro S.A., Gonzalez AL, Nyamuryekung'e S., Spiegal S
Conference NameSociety for Range Management Meeting
VolumeJanuary 28-February 2, 2018
Date Published01/28/2018
PublisherSociety for Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Conference LocationSparks, Nevada
ARIS Log Number347088
Abstract

Ranchers that raise Criollo cattle must overcome the challenge of lack of markets for weaned calves. Raramuri Criollo (RC) steers are commonly raised for beef and finished on rangelands, while Corriente (CR) are often raised for rodeo sports. No data exist on weight gains and grazing behavior of rangeland-raised steers of either biotype. We conducted a study in the Chihuahuan Desert with two cohorts of RC and CR. Twenty-two 17-month (cohort 1) steers (10 RC, RC1; 12 CR, CR1) were weighed every 60 d between December 2015 and January 2017 and eighteen 8-month (cohort 2) steers (7 RC, RC2 and 11 CR, CR2) were weighed every 60 d between December 2015 and August 2017 to determine individual body weight (WT), average daily gain (ADG), and body condition score (BCS). 9 cohort 1 steers and 9 cohort 2 steers were monitored with Lotek 3300LR GPS collars that recorded location at 5 min intervals during December 2015 and December 2016, respectively, to compare landscape utilization patterns of 5 RC and 4 CR individuals. The influence of biotype on WT, ADG, BCS and behavior variables was analyzed using repeated measures mixed ANOVA that treated steers as the experimental unit. Separate analyses were conducted per age cohort. No differences in WT, ADG, or BCS between RC and CR in either cohort were detected throughout. RC1, CR1, RC2, and CR2 gained on average 0.2036, 0.1420, 0.1881, and 0.2419 kg/head/d, respectively. Daily distance traveled by RC1 and CR1 did not differ, but CR2 walked farther during day and night than RC2 (P <0.01). CR1 followed more sinuous trajectories than RC1 counterparts from dusk to midnight (P<0.01). CR2 followed more sinuous movement trajectories than RC2 at night (P<0.01).  Further research is needed to determine the benefits of developing RC vs CR steers on desert rangeland.