Age and calving time affects production efficiency of beef cows and their calves
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
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,
... 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.