Comparison of calf rearing results and nursing cow performance in various beef breeds managed under the same conditions in north-western Poland
R. Pilarczyk, J. Wójcikhttps://doi.org/10.17221/2342-CJASCitation:Pilarczyk R., Wójcik J. (2007): Comparison of calf rearing results and nursing cow performance in various beef breeds managed under the same conditions in north-western Poland. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 52: 325-333.
We compared the results of calf maternal nursing and cow performance in 5 beef breeds managed under equal conditions in the region of West Pomerania. The study involved 549 cows and 1 979 calves (1 007 heifers and 972 bulls) of the following breeds: Red Angus, Salers, Hereford, Limousin, and Simmental. The cows and their calves were managed outdoors for one year. Feeding and management systems were the same for all the breeds during the studied period. The calves remained with their mothers until 6 to 9 months of age. Under intensive feeding, we recorded very good calf rearing parameters with very good or good milk performance of the cows. The best results were achieved by the Simmental cows and calves. Both the heifers and calf-bulls of this breed exhibited significantly (P ≤ 0.01) higher weaning weights adjusted to 210 days of age as well as daily gains from birth to weaning. The weaning weights of the calves were higher from 37 to 93 kg and daily gains from 45 to 280 g. The Hereford cows and calves also achieved very good parameters. Relatively poorer in terms of production performance were Red Angus, as compared with the other breeds, and Limousin cows whose calves produced the lowest body weights and had the lowest daily gains as well.Keywords:beef cattle; breeds; maternal nursing; body weight; gains