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Study on the reproductive performance of Jersey cows at Wolaita Sodo dairy farm, Southern Ethiopia

H Lemma
K Belihu
D Sheferaw3


Retrospective study was conducted in Wolaita Sodo State Dairy Farm, Southern Ethiopia, to assess the reproductive performance and herd life of Jersey cattle, and the associated factors. The study breed was mainly kept in the farm on pastureland and with some supplementary feeds. The results revealed an overall mean of age at first service, age at first calving, calving interval, interval between calving and effective service and number of services per conception of 722.24 days (SE=36.4), 1035.21 days (SE=12.59), 450.09 days (SE=6.60), 174.68 days (SE=8.61) and 1.79 (SE=0.06) respectively. All the traits were significantly influenced by year of birth (p<0.001). Age at first service was significantly lower in imported cattle while calving interval was lower in on-farm raised cattle (p<0.001). Calving interval and the interval between calving and effective service were decreasing significantly with parity number (p<0.001). Number of services per conception was significantly lower in short rainy season (p<0.05). The mean length of the herd life, productive herd life and effective productive herd life were 2983.74 days (SE=67.98), 2310.11 days (SE=296.91) and 1663.15 days (SE=55.09), respectively. Year of birth had significant effect on herd life (p<0.001) and effective productive herd life (p<0.01). Imported cattle had significantly longer herd life (p<0.01) and productive herd life
(p<0.05) than the on-farm reared animals. The mean birth and weaning weights were 22.87 kg (SE=0.17) and 108.88 kg (SE=0.67) respectively. Both traits were influenced significantly by year and season of birth, sex of calves and parity of the dam (p<0.01). Calves born in the long rainy season had better birth and weaning weight than the others. There was a trend of increased birth weight of calves as the parity number of the dam increased.

Keywords: Jersey, Birth weight, Herd life, Reproductive performance, Weaning weight