Shaver Beefblend History
Put the Shaver Program to Work For You
Over time, breeding programs for beef cattle have been greatly influenced by the requirements of the show ring. Nevertheless, these methods and the eye of breeders with a real “feel” for livestock, have produced the many fine pure breeds with which today’s breeders are privileged to work.
The same was true for poultry, swine and sheep pure breeds. Breeders of these other species, early found that when performance seemed to reach a plateau beyond which little progress could be made, they would be able to effect marked improvements in overall performance traits, when they made a simple cross with another breed.
Until the introduction of the so-called “Exotic” Continental breeds, cross breeding was not widely practised by beef breeders. The “Black Baldy” was a well known exception.
ln the past 25 years there have been remarkable changes in the attitude of beef breeders and a ready willingness to accept the overwhelming evidence in support of the economic benefits of cross breeding, from Experimental Stations of sound reputation in North America and around the world.
Heterosis simply defined, is the exceptional hybrid vigour resulting through cross breeding two different breeds. The question to be addressed however, is how to maintain the benefits of heterosis, without the need of maintaining two herds of pure breeds to constantly generate the cross breeds. This brings us to the SHAVER BEEFBLEND program.
Before the program began in 1959, D. McQ. Shaver, the creator of the Shaver Beefblend breed, made some marketing decisions. He had wide experience in creating synthetic poultry breeds, by combining several breeds into a newline and determined that similar methods could be effective with beef cattle. Eleven different breeds were used initially and the genes of nine breeds were retained in SHAVER BEEFBLEND. Because he planned to make optimum use of heterosis throughout his program and because the largest beef populations were in the Hereford and Angus breeds, neither breed was incorporated into BEEFBLEND.
D. McQ. Shaver took eight generations to stabilize the breed and to create unrelated strains within the breed. It is from this development of unrelated strains that he retained the ability to utilize heterosis, without altering the appearance and relative uniformity of the product, in either its pure SHAVER BEEFBLEND state, or when crossed on the customer’s own females. ln this latter case the regular use of Shaver bulls from his different lines, will continue to capture the full benefits of heterosis, calf crop after calf crop, just as surely as if two distinct breeds were involved each time.
As a direct result of the application on the latest knowledge and technology, within the Shaver program itself, your herd will develop a uniform appearance and it will evolve on a straight course meeting the requirements of the consumer market.