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Ciência Rural

Print version ISSN 0103-8478On-line version ISSN 1678-4596


PIMENTEL, Marcelo Alves et al. Milk production and postpartum performance of Hereford cows in different reproduction condictions in a range breeding system. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2005, vol.35, n.1, pp.150-156. ISSN 0103-8478.

Milk production and pospartum performance from 52 multiparous Hereford cows, with the same body condition score (3 in a 1 to 5 scale), pregnant (45) or not pregnant (24), was studied in 69 lactations during two years, 2000 (42) and 2001 (27) under range conditions. Estimates of milk yield were obtained during six intervals (three 21d and three 42d), by the weigh-suckle-weigh technique, from birth to weaning (189d). Effects studied were year, pregnancy, calf sex and sire breed. None of the effects studied affected (P>0.05) milk production parameters: daily milk production, total milk yield, lactation peak and persistency. Body weight at calving was greater (P<0.05) in 2001 (417.49 ± 6.94kg) that in 2000 (353. 97 ± 5.57kg) and was not affected by the other effects. Body weight at conception (99d; 432.10 ± 5.78 and 399,37 ± 7.92kg) and at weaning (189d; 433.30 ± 6.36 and 393.46 ± 8.70kg), were greater (P<0.05) in pregnant cows than in non-pregnant animals, respectively. Sex of calf had a significant effect (P<0.05) on calf birth weight (41.75 ± 1.21kg and 37.6 ± 1.13kg for males and females, respectively). All studied effects affected significantly calf weaning weight (P<0.05) and pregnant cows had heavier calves at weaning (194.22 ± 3.41kg) than non-pregnant cows (177.43 ± 4.67kg). The greatest performance of pregnant beef cows with similar milk yield and body condition score from calving to weaning can be explained by the superior adaptation characteristics of these cows.

Keywords : milk production; postpartum performance; beef cattle.

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