The effect of body condition of beef cows at calving and post calving nutrition on calf growth rate and cow fertility

Graham, J.F.

Proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production 14: 309-312


Accession: 001135811

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In the autumn of 1979 and 1980 Hereford cows (120 and 127) calved in condition scores ranging from 1.5 to 4 (using the East of Scotland College of Agriculture scoring system). After calving the cows were fed at either a high (H) or low (L) level of nutrition until the end of mating (late August) when both groups were grazed together until weaning (early January). Calving condition score (CCS) and post calving nutrition affected (P <0.05) the post partum anoestrus interval, but pregnancy rates were not sufficiently affected (P >0.05). CCS influenced calf growth rate from birth to the end of mating (CGR), and weaning weight only slightly. Post-calving nutrition had a significant influence (P <0.05) on CGR in both years, the average CGR being 0.75 plus or minus 0.01 and 0.54 plus or minus 0.01 kg/day for the H and L groups, respectively (P <0.05). Cows in group L and CCS class 1.5-2 lost significantly less weight after calving than those in CCS class 3.5-4 in both years (P <0.05).