Evaluation of The Performance of Calves And Heifers In A Holstein Frisian Herd In Northern Gezira

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Date
2007
Authors
ElFagir, Ismail Mohamed
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Abstract
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the productive and reproductive performance of calves and heifers of pure Holstein – Friesian breed in the farm of the Arab Company for Agricultural Production and Processing (ACAPP) at Albagair area in the Gezira State. The performance was evaluated under the prevailing management and environmental factors during the period 1984 – 2002. The traits studied were: (i) Weight at birth (2716 records). (ii) Age at weaning (1653 records). (iii) Weight at weaning (1653 records). (iv) Age at first service (505 records). (v) Weight at first service (558 records). (vi) Age at successful service (603 records). (vii) Weight at successful service (449 records). (viii)Number of services per conception (537 records). (ix) Age at first calving (829 records). (x) Milk yield for the first 100 days of the first lactation (702 records). The study also included some of the important factors that affected these traits. The data were analyzed by the Method of Least Mean Squares (Steel, Torrie and Dickey, 1997). They were subjected to analysis of variance using SPSS Programme version 12.5. The results obtained showed that the overall mean weight at birth of the calves under study was 33.87 ± 0.21 kg. The majority of the calves were born in the weight range of 30 – 40 kilogram. Male calves were found to be heavier than females; the difference between the two sexes was highly significant (P < 0.001). The mean weight at birth of male calves was 35.08 ± 0.28 kg while that of females was 32.89 ± 0.31 kg. The effect of the year of birth on weight of birth was highly significant (P < 0.001) while that of season of birth was not (P > 0.05). Parity of dam also exerted a highly significant (P < 0.001) effect on weight at birth of calves. Calves born to dams in the first three parities were higher in weight than calves born to dams in later parities. The interactions of sex of calf × years of birth, sex of calf × season of birth, sex of calf × parity of dam and parity of dam × season of birth did not exert any significant (P > 0.05) effect on weight at birth. The interaction of years of birth × seasons of birth and parity of dam × years of birth had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on weight at birth of calves. The overall means of weight and age at weaning were 67.43 ± 0.41 kg and 75.43 ± 1.03 days respectively. Both weight and age at weaning were significantly (P < 0.001) affected by weight at birth and year of birth of calf. Sex of calf ad season of birth did not have any significant (P > 0.05) effect on either trait. Age at weaning had a high significant (P < 0.001) effect on weight at weaning. Parity of dam exerted a highly significant (P < 0.001) effect on weight at weaning, but not on age at weaning (P > 0.05). Weight and age at weaning were both significantly affected by the interaction of sex × year × season of birth and year × season of birth (P < 0.05). Both traits were not affected by the interaction of season × parity of dam to any significant degree (P > 0.05). The interaction of sex × season of birth significantly (P < 0.05) affected weight at weaning, but not age at weaning (P > 0.05). Weight at weaning was also significantly (P < 0.05) affected by the interactions of year of birth × parity of dam and sex × year of birth. The overall means of age and weight at first service were 21.82± 0.28 month and 337.25 ± 2.76 kg respectively. Both traits were significantly (P < 0.001) affected by year of birth, but not season (P > 0.05). Age at first service was significantly (P < 0.05) affected by weight at weaning, but the latter did not exert any significant (P > 0.05) effect on weight of first service. Age and weight at first service were not affected to any significant (P > 0.05) degree by age at weaning. Both traits were not affected to any significant degree (P > 0.05) by the different interactions of years and seasons of birth, weight at weaning and age at weaning. The overall means of age and weight at successful service were 22.57 ± 0.35 month and 337.44 ± 5.89 kg respectively. Both traits were significantly (P < 0.05) affected by year of birth. They were neither affected by season of birth nor weight at weaning to any significant degree (P > 0.05). Weight at successful service was significantly (P < 0.001) affected by weight at first service to a high degree. The interactions of years × seasons of birth, year × classes of weight at weaning did not exert any significant (P > 0.05) effect on either age or weight at successful service. The interaction of years of birth × weight at first service had a highly significant (P < 0.001) effect on weight at successful service. The overall mean number of services per conception was 1.78 ± 0.07. Year and season of service did not exert any significant (P > 0.05) effect on this trait, but it was highly significantly (P < 0.001) affected by weight at first service. The trait was significantly (P < 0.05) affected by the interaction of year of service × season of service × weight at first service, but not by other interactions (P > 0.05). The overall mean of age at first calving was 31.88 ± 0.36 months. It was significantly affected by the year of birth of heifer (P < 0.001) and weight at weaning (P < 0.05), but not by season of birth (P > 0.05). The trait was also highly significantly affected by the interaction of years × seasons of birth and years of birth × classes of weight at weaning (P < 0.001). The interaction of seasons of birth × classes of weight at weaning did not exert any significant effect (P < 0.05) on age at first calving. The overall mean milk yield for the first 100 days of the first lactation was 1533.56 ± 25.68 liters. The trait was significantly affected by the year of calving (P < 0.001) and age at first calving (P < 0.05), but not by season of calving or weight at successful service (P > 0.05). The trait was significantly (P < 0.05) affected by the interaction of years of calving × seasons of calving × classes of weight at successful service, but not by other interactions.
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227 page
Keywords
Calves;Friesian; Gezira - Sudan;Dairy Production
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