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Performance of beef calves produced by cows submitted to different feeding managements, weaned at 42 or 63 days of age



Performance of beef calves produced by cows submitted to different feeding managements, weaned at 42 or 63 days of age



Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia-Brazilian Journal of Animal Science 33(3): 597-609



The objective of this work was to evaluate the performance of beef calves, from birth to weaning, produced by Charolais., Nellore (N), CN and NC crossbred cows. kept on native pasture, supplemented with rice bran and weaned at 42 or 63 days postpartum, or non supplemented and weaned at 63 days. Cow age ranged from 3 to 12 years, being classified as: first calf, young, adult and old cows. Calves weaned at 63 days of age, whose cows were supplemented showed higher average daily weight gain (ADG) during lactation (561 vs. 457 g), were heavier at weaning (67 vs. 59.9 kg) and at 84 days (76 vs. 69,2 kg) in relation to those whose cows were not supplemented, and did not differ in weight from the last ones at 5, 7 and 12 months. Calves weaned at 42 days showed lower ADG during the first 21 days after weaning (360 vs. 482g) and were lighter at 12 months (174.4 vs. 189.4 kg) in relation to those weaned at 63 days. Crossbred calves produced by CN and NC crossbred cows were heavier at weaning then the straightbreds, not differing from the C calves at 12 months. Nellore calves were similar in weight to the C calves at weaning, but were lighter and displayed lower body condition score than the C at 5, 7 and 12 months. Calves produced by first calving cows were lighter and displayed lower body condition score than the other calves, however, not differing from the last ones at 9 and 12 months. Supplementation of cows is not justified when calf weight after 5 months is considered. Weaning calves at 42 days is not recommended because it results in lower weight at 12 months.

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