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American Auroch Project

Discussion in 'Private Collections & Pets' started by PrimoCulture Farms, 24 May 2018.

  1. PrimoCulture Farms

    PrimoCulture Farms Active Member

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    Thought I'd share this here. I've been following the projects in Europe aimed at creating a replica of the extinct aurochs for conservation uses. So two years ago I started my own project with a similar goal. I'm currently working on trying to import semen from the breeds being used in Europe but for the time being I'm only working with breeds available here. I'll be using Highlander, Watusi, Corriente, Piedmontese, Chiannia, and Hungarian Grey cattle. Will post pictures of what I've done so far below.
     
  2. PrimoCulture Farms

    PrimoCulture Farms Active Member

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    This heifer is 50% watusi 50% highlander 19396672_1387267588026116_422757896039976688_n.jpg cinco4.jpg

    Also 50% watusi 50% highlander 21686057_1861106567445073_4978536561820748645_n.jpg

    Both heifers are bred for July to this Piedmontese bull. 22050093_1864781170410946_6862922063975981043_n.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 24 May 2018
  3. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Are Heck Cattle not available in the USA?
     
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

    But to put a dumper on things:
    The whole European "auerochs" project is both historically (heavily steeped in Nazi ideology as both Heck brothers were …) and evolutionary / genetically (this entire breed back strategy is miles apart from any historical European Pleistocene wild cattle species) flawed. Same goes for so-called European wild horse tarpan as these Polish koniks horses are an 18th Century domestic horse race.
     
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  5. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    In the US, Heck Cattle are bred mainly for hunting ranches. US Heck Cattle are therefor bred for meat and ease of hunting, rather than to resemble Aurochs. Therefore, Heck Cattle would not be the best choice for backbreeding.

    EDIT: Cross-posted with Kifaru Bwana. Kifaru partly touches on what I was trying to say here.
     
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  6. PrimoCulture Farms

    PrimoCulture Farms Active Member

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    There are no true heck cattle that I am aware of.
     
  7. PrimoCulture Farms

    PrimoCulture Farms Active Member

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    Correct we'll never have Aurochs again, but something that at least looks like one is my goal. And yes the heck cattle were the result of misplaced Nazi ideology.
     
  8. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    The ideology behind the Heck brothers back breeding IMHO should not influence our view of the end product. Apart from bring smaller, surely they are the nearest thing we have to Aurochsen?
     
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  9. Carl Jones

    Carl Jones Well-Known Member

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    What we need to ask is how close in appearance are Heck Cattle to Aurochs, and although not the genuine article what percentage of their genetic makeup do they share? I suspect that most is identical. Let's continue to breed back to cattle that are more and more like Aurochs and when these are placed under natural selection, an animal will be produced that is close to the original in ecology and behaviour.
     
  10. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Hello Carl, I know what you are asking and thinking as far as

    The aurochs genome has been sequenced not too long ago. Also quite a few studies have been done in recent years on aurochs and any the potential to breed back from any primitive domesticated cattle yet present within Europe.

    To be able to be concise and to the point and write up, I will need some time. As I am in our office at the moment, I will not be able to do this during the day. This evening or tomorrow at the latest. Please bear with me (in the interest of all with an interest in our European heritage and our old wild cattle and horse representatives.
     
  11. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Well, there's the Tauros Programme or the Auerrindprojekt...
    TaurOs Programme
    Auerrindprojekt
     
  12. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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  13. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds very interesting @PrimoCulture Farms. Are you going to use zebu at all in your project? Zebu are the direct descendants of Aurochs so would probably be a good option for creating a phenotype. Good luck!
     
  14. PrimoCulture Farms

    PrimoCulture Farms Active Member

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    Not planning on using Zebu at this time as they come from the asian subspecies of auroch however I'm open to trying to rebreed that one as well in the future.
     
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  15. Kawekaweau

    Kawekaweau Well-Known Member

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    My favorite breeding back project would have to be the Quagga Project, which has managed to breed quagga-like zebras. My only issue is that they call their zebras quaggas when they should really be called "Rau zebras" to distinguish from true quaggas.
     
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  16. PrimoCulture Farms

    PrimoCulture Farms Active Member

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  17. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    If you read some of the scientific publications above you will note that some Iberian primitive cattle align the most with former aurochs. Zebu are definitely not part of this, so for any breed back program not well suited.
     
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  18. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    No offence, but to be truly honest: I fail to see the point of this project. The aurochs was never native to North America and there are already existing serious projects such as the aforementioned Tauros Programme you could rather join rather than create something completely new that, as pointed out by Kifaru Bwana, uses an inadequate breeding foundation to begin with.
     
  19. PrimoCulture Farms

    PrimoCulture Farms Active Member

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    Kifaru simply said zebu would not be suited, and them being native has no standing on this project. And to simply join an established project is not just something you do believe me. That said this project has multiple aims, beyond creating a cow that's cool to look at when managing wild areas. I'll also point out that most of the projects in Europe are using the same breeds I am and a few more.
     
  20. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Which are?
    Why not? For managing wild areas such as grassland via extensive farming in America, you already have a well suited native bovine species at hands: the American bison.
    Why not? I've joined and collaborated with established projects in the past (and still today) - and mostly, it worked just fine or even really well. Why reinvent the wheel?