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      Age and calving time affects production efficiency of beef cows and their calves

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          Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of two sub-periods of the calving season and two cow maturity stages on the efficiency of beef cows and their calves. A total of 159 cow-calf pairs were divided by calving time (early or late) within the calving season and maturity stage (young or adult). Calves were weaned at 42 or 63 days after birth and evaluated until 210 days of age. Cows and calves had their development examined based on their weight and body condition score at calving, at weaning, and at 210 days. Reproductive performance was evaluated on the basis of time to become pregnant again. Milk yield was assessed by the direct method on three occasions spaced 21 days apart. Adult cows were heavier than young cows, at calving (398.5 vs 327.5 kg, respectively), weaning (397.3 vs 324.1 kg, respectively) at the end breeding season (424.1 vs 342.1 kg, respectively). Reproductive performance was influenced by calving time. Adult cows had higher pregnancy rates (83.75 and 69.17%, for early and for late calving, respectively) than young cows (57.03 and 35.01% for early and for late-calving, respectively). Calves from early-calving young cows weighed 158.8 kg at 210 days of age vs. 123.7 kg for those born from late-calving adult cows. However, late-calving cows produced 10.7% more milk than those that calved early in the season (227.0 vs 205.0 liters, respectively). Early calving associated with non-requirement of growth determine higher productivity efficiency in beef cows.

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          Direct and correlated responses to selection for yearling weight on reproductive performance of Nelore cows.

          Data from a selection experiment for growth carried out in Brazil were analyzed in order to evaluate the direct responses on yearling weight (YW) and the correlated responses on the size and reproduction traits of cows. The experiment was started in 1976, and in 1980 three lines of Nelore cattle were established: selection (NeS), traditional (NeT), both selected for higher YW, and control (NeC), selected for mean YW. The NeT was an open line that eventually received bulls from other herds. Yearling weight records for animals born from 1978 to 1998 and yearling hip height (H550) offemales born from 1985 to 1998 were analyzed by fitting an animal model in order to obtain the genetic trends. The means for weight, height, and body condition score at the start of the breeding season, days to calving, and calving success of cows born from 1993 to 1996 (pertaining to the third to fourth generations of selection) were compared between the selected (NeS and NeT) and control lines. The genetic trends obtained after 16 yr for YW were 1.7 +/- 0.2, 2.3 +/- 0.2, and -0.1 +/- 0.1 kg/yr for males and 1.9 +/- 0.2, 2.4 +/- 0.2, and -0.1 +/- 0.1 kg/yr for females, for the NeS, NeT, and NeC lines, respectively. Corresponding values for H550 were 0.25 +/- 0.03, 0.24 +/- 0.04 and -0.04 +/- 0.03 cm/yr for females. Heifers and cows from NeS and NeT were 19% and 15% heavier and 4% taller at the start of the breeding season than those from NeC. No significant differences between selected (NeS and NeT) and control females were detected for body condition scores and for reproductive performance. The results indicate that selection for body weight promoted high and consistent weight and height responses both at the yearling and later ages, without compromising the reproductive performance of the cows with respect to days to calving and calving success.
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            Eficiência produtiva em vacas primíparas das raças Aberdeen Angus e Charolês

            Este trabalho foi conduzido com o objetivo de avaliar o desempenho produtivo de vacas de corte. Foram utilizadas 30 vacas da raça Aberdeen Angus e 32 da raça Charolês primíparas, prenhes no início do experimento, com bezerros puros ou mestiços Nelore. As vacas foram submetidas a diferentes tratamentos alimentares durante o inverno e a primavera: T1 - pastagem natural, T2 - pastagem cultivada por 60 dias (24 horas/dia), do início de setembro ao início de novembro, T3 - acesso à pastagem cultivada por duas horas diárias, por um período de 60 dias (de início de julho ao início de setembro), T4 - acesso à pastagem cultivada por duas horas diárias, por um período de 60 dias (de início de julho ao início de setembro), e mais 60 dias (24 horas/dia) de pastagem cultivada do início de setembro ao início de novembro. As medidas de eficiência produtiva foram: EPPARTO = (P205/PVP)*100; EPDESMAME = (P205/PVD)*100; EPMBPARTO = (P205/PVP0,75); EPMBDESMAME = (P205/PVD0,75); e EPNDT = NDTTOTAL/P205, em que P205 é o peso ao desmame dos bezerros; PVP e PVD, os pesos das vacas ao parto e ao desmame, respectivamente; e NDTTOTAL, a exigência em energia para manutenção e produção de leite das vacas. As vacas Aberdeen Angus, com bezerros machos e aquelas com bezerros mestiços, foram mais eficientes. Vacas que utilizaram a pastagem cultivada por um período de tempo maior (T4) tiveram melhor desempenho do que aquelas que permaneceram apenas em pastagem natural(T1); as vacas dos outros tratamentos tiveram desempenhos intermediários.
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              Heifer calving date positively influences calf weaning weights through six parturitions.

              Longevity and lifetime productivity are important factors influencing profitability for the cow-calf producer. Heifers that conceive earlier in the breeding season will calve earlier in the calving season and have a longer interval to rebreeding. Calves born earlier in the calving season will also be older and heavier at weaning. Longevity data were collected on 2,195 heifers from producers in South Dakota Integrated Resource Management groups. Longevity and weaning weight data were collected on 16,549 individual heifers at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC). Data were limited to heifers that conceived during their first breeding season. Heifers were grouped into 21-d calving periods. Heifers were determined to have left the herd when they were diagnosed not pregnant at the end of the breeding season. Heifers that left the herd for reasons other than reproductive failure were censored from the data. Heifers that calved with their first calf during the first 21-d period of the calving season had increased (P < 0.01) longevity compared with heifers that calved in the second 21-d period, or later. Average longevity for South Dakota heifers that calved in the first or later period was 5.1 ± 0.1 and 3.9 ± 0.1 yr, respectively. Average longevity for USMARC heifers that calved in the first, second, or third period was 8.2 ± 0.3, 7.6 ± 0.5, and 7.2 ± 0.1 yr, respectively. Calving period as a heifer influenced (P < 0.01) unadjusted weaning BW of the first 6 calves. Estimated postpartum interval to conception as a 2-yr-old cow was greater for females that calved in the first period as heifers but did not differ between heifer calving periods in subsequent calving seasons. In summary, heifers that calved early in the calving season with their first calf had increased longevity and kilograms weaned, compared with heifers that calved later in the calving season.

                Author and article information

                Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
                An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc.
                Academia Brasileira de Ciências (Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil )
                : 92
                : suppl 1
                Bagé RS orgnameInstituto Federal Sul Riograndense orgdiv1Departamento de Zootecnia Brazil
                Goiânia Goiás orgnameUniversidade Federal de Goiás orgdiv1Departamento de Zootecnia Brazil
                Palmeira das Missões Rio Grande do Sul orgnameUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria orgdiv1Departamento de Ciências Biológicas e Zootecnia Brazil
                Rio Grande do Sul orgnameUniversidade Federal de Pelotas orgdiv1Departamento de Zootecnia Brazil
                S0001-37652020000201015 S0001-3765(20)09200001015

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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                Product Information: SciELO Brazil
                Agrarian Sciences

                pregnancy, early weaning, milk yield, productivity


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