[Age at puberty and reproductive characteristics of F1 Holstein x Gyr crossbred heifers with divergent phenotypes for residual feed intake]

A.P. Fonseca B.R.C. Alves M.M. Campos R.M. Costa F.S. Machado L.G.R. Pereira T.R. Tomich F.Z. Brandão Á.M. Borges About the authors

ABSTRACT

The relationship between nutritional efficiency and age and weight at puberty and reproductive traits was studied in 35 F1 Holstein x Gyr heifers, in trials using residual food consumption (CAR) in the post-weaning (PW) and post-pubertal (PP) periods. PD heifers (P<0.0001) and PP (P<0.001) were classified as high, intermediate and low efficiencies and presented CAR of -0.259 -0.014 and 0.346kg/day and -0.848 -0.096 and 0.842kg/day, respectively. PD heifers differed (P<0.05) in age at puberty between high, intermediate and low efficiencies, on average, at 339.7, 346.4 and 315.3 days, respectively. The weight at puberty of PD heifers with high, intermediate and low efficiencies were, on average, 321±28.1kg and did not differ (P>0.05) between CAR. No correlation was found between follicular diameter, follicle growth rate, number of follicular waves in the estrous cycle and pregnancy rate at 1st AI with the CARPD or CARPP. F1HG heifers selected for CAR with low efficiency can be aged at puberty 10 days longer when compared to high-efficiency heifers for CAR. These results did not show that heifers selected for high or low food efficiency, using CAR, had negative impact on the reproductive characteristics evaluated.

Keywords:
feed efficiency; milking cattle; puberty; reproduction; fertility

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