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South African Journal of Animal Science

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The effects of maternal calving date and calving interval on growth performance of beef calves

R.G. MacGregor, N.H. Casey

Abstract


This study was undertaken to investigate the growth performance of calves born to dams with different calving dates and calving intervals. Early calving dams produced calves with the lowest birth weights, the highest actual weaning weights and the highest pre-breeding heifer weights. The higher weaning weights of early calvers were due to higher pre-weaning average daily gains and the older age of their calves at weaning. Corrected weaning weights of calves born to dams calving at different times during the calving season were not significantly different. A one-day increase in calving interval resulted in a decrease of 0.29 ± 0.01 kg for weaning weight and a decrease of 0.54 ± 0.01 kg for heifer pre-breeding weight. It is recommended that date of calving and actual weaning weight of calves should be considered when evaluating the reproductive and productive performance of breeding cows.


(South African Journal of Animal Science: 2000, 30(1): 70-76)



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sajas.v30i1.3880
AJOL African Journals Online