Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
versão On-line ISSN 1806-9290
SILVA, Maurício Dallmann da; BARCELLOS, Júlio Otávio Jardim e PRATES, Ênio Rosa. Reproductive performance of beef heifers bred at 18 or 24 months of age. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2005, vol.34, n.6, pp. 2057-2063. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982005000600031.
A 45-d experiment was conducted to evaluate two breeding ages of Hereford heifers, 18 (18M) or 24 months (24M), using natural mating. The following parameters were studied: pregnancy rate (PR), body condition score at the beginning of the mating season (BCS), and average daily gain in the mating season (ADG). It was also calculated the productivity (P) = total kg of weaned calf per number of heifers bred and efficiency (E) = productivity per 100 kg of heifers mated. The breeding seasons were from 04/05/2000 to 05/20/2000 (fall) and from 11/04/2000 to 12/19/2000 (spring) for 18M and 24M heifers, respectively. The 24M heifers showed higher PR and BCS than those bred at 18M of age (86.7% vs. 52.2% and 3.86 vs. 3.59, respectively). Conversely, breeding season did not affect the ADG comparing 24M (0.728 kg/d) with 18M (0.724 kg/d) heifers. The 24M heifers had greater P (135.2 vs. 76.2 kg) and better E (38.6 vs. 26.6 kg) than heifers mated at 18M. It can be concluded that decreasing the breeding age from 24M to 18M requires higher body weight at beginning of the mating season in order to improve the reproductive parameters evaluated in the current trial.
Palavras-chave : autumn breeding; pregnancy rate; productivity; eficiency.