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Influence of autumn liveweight during pregnancy on post partum liveweight of angus heifers and their spring born calves



Influence of autumn liveweight during pregnancy on post partum liveweight of angus heifers and their spring born calves



New Zealand Journal of Experimental Agriculture 13(3): 225-230



Fifty-four Angus heifers born and raised at 3 origins-namely, 'Tuapaka' farm, Massey University (MU), 22 animals; Central Hawke's Bay (HB), 20 animals; and Wairarapa (W), 12 animals-were mated as one mob at 2 years of age to an Angus bull in October 1974 [New Zealand]. On 1 May 1975, the HB heifers were significantly heavier (405.7 .+-. 5.3 kg; P < 0.01) than MU (368.5 .+-. 5.1 kg) and W heifers (370.4 .+-. 7.2 kg). All groups of heifers maintained their 1 May liveweight until calving in August. Liveweight differences resulting from the influence of environment during rearing of the heifers to 2 years of age are discussed. By the second calving, at 4 years of age, there was no significant difference in liveweight between heifers of different origin. In 1975, calves born to HB heifers were heavier (27.9 .+-. 0.7 kg) than those born to MU and W heifers by 1.3 kg (NS) and 2.9 kg (P < 0.10), respectively. There was no significant effect of origin of dam on calf birth weight at second calving in 1976. At weaning, the first crop of calves of HB heifers were heavier (192.7 .+-. 4.7 kg; P < 0.05) than the calves of MU and W heifers by 18.4 and 17.9 kg, respectively. No liveweight difference was found in the second crop of calves at weaning. During first lactation (1975-76), at 20 days post-partum, HB heifers were heavier (358.2 .+-. 7.2 kg) than MU and W heifers by 28.8 kg (P < 0.01) and 15.3 kg (NS), respectively. At weaning early in 1976, there was no significant difference in liveweight between origin groups of heifers although HB heifers maintained a small liveweight advantage. Losses among heifers and their calves did not differ between origin groups. Conception rates at second mating were not able to be tested statistically.

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Accession: 005680870

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DOI: 10.1080/03015521.1985.10426086


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