Production and reproduction performance of Jersey and Fleckvieh × Jersey cows in a pasture-based system

Goni, Sindisile (2014-04)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Genetic selection for high milk production, type and appearance for the last 50 years has suppressed secondary traits such as reproductive performance, productive life, health and survivability in the pure milk breeds. The economic importance of these secondary traits in dairy production systems is the basis for the interest seen in crossbreeding. The problem of growth rate of heifers, cow fertility, reduced disease resistance and small body frame for beef production in Jerseys can be improved by crossing Jerseys with dual purpose breeds, such as Fleckviehs which possess a more beef potential. Against this background, this study aimed at comparing the production and reproduction of Jersey and Fleckvieh × Jersey cows in a pasture-based system. Milk recording was done according to standard milk recording procedures. Milk production (milk, fat, and protein yield) was adjusted to 305 days of lactation and corrected for age at calving. Effects of breed, parity, month and year were estimated for milk, fat and protein yield as well as fat and protein percentage using general linear models procedure. The fixed effects identified as having significant effects on milk, fat and protein yield were breed, parity and year. F×J cows produced significantly more milk than J cows (6141 ± 102 vs. 5398 ± 95 kg milk). Protein and fat yield were significantly higher in F×J (201 ± 3 and 272 ± 4 kg, respectively) than in J cows (194 ± 2 and 246 ± 3 kg, respectively). There percentages of fat and protein differed slightly between the two breeds with the Jersey recording slightly higher percentages (4.61 ± 0.04 and 3.62 ± 0.03 %, respectively) compared to the F×J cows’ percentages, which were, respectively, 4.47 ± 0.04 and 3.51 ± 0.03 %. It was concluded that F×J crossbred cows were more productive than purebred J cows probably owing to heterotic effects. Heifers were inseminated at 13 months of age and cows 40 days post-calving. Using insemination records and pregnancy check results, fertility traits were analyzed and compared between the two breeds, using analysis of variance for continuous records. Conception age was the same for both breeds resulting in a similar age at first calving. For cows, the interval from calving to first insemination was significantly shorter (P <0.001) in crossbred cows being 76.7 ± 2.2 days compared to 82.4 ± 2.5 days for purebreds. A larger proportion (P < 0.001) of 0.70 for crossbred cows was inseminated within 80 days after calving compared to 0.54 for J cows. Although the absolute number of days between calving and conception (DO) was lower for F×J cows in comparison to J cows (104.8 ± 6.8 vs. 114.8 ± 8.1days, respectively), the difference was not significant. However, the proportion of F×J cows confirmed pregnant by 100 days in milk was 0.79, which was higher (P < 0.001) than the 0.66 for J cows. Results indicate the potential of improving reproductive performance of J cows through crossing with dual-purpose breeds. The beef production of purebred J and Fleckvieh x Jersey (F×J) bull calves was compared, where bull calves were reared similarly for veal, i.e. carcass weight not exceeding 100 kg, or as steers for beef to 21 months of age. In both the veal and steer production systems, the mean birth weight were higher (P < 0.001) for crossbred in comparison to J calves and steers (33.5 ± 1.2 kg vs. 27.9 ± 1.2 kg for veal) and (33.4 ± 0.9 kg vs. 26.9 ± 0.9 kg for steers) respectively. The live weight at 6 months of age was 163.5 ± 3.9 kg for J bull calves, which was lower (P < 0.001) than that for F×J bull calves (180.6 ± 4.0 kg). The F×J bull calves had a significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) of 0.82 ± 0.02 kg/day compared to 0.73 ± 0.02 kg/day for J bulls. Marketing age differed (P < 0.001) in the veal production system with F×J and J bull calves marketed at 7.1 ± 0.1 and 6.3 ± 0.1 months, respectively. End live weight at 21 months of age was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in F×J bulls (441.4 ± 14.9 kg) than the 322.6 ± 13.4 kg in J bulls; while ADG differed (P < 0.001) between the two breeds being 0.64 ± 0.02 and 0.46 ± 0.0 kg/day in F×J and J bull calves, respectively. Crossbred steers had a significantly higher carcass of 206.5 ± 8.9 kg compared to 157.9 ± 8.6 kg for J steers. Results indicate the potential of improving beef production characteristics of the J cattle through crossbreeding.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Genetiese seleksie vir hoë melkproduksie, tipe en voorkoms die afgelope 50 jaar het sekondêre eienskappe soos reproduksie, produktiewe lewe, gesondheid en oorlewing onderdruk in die suiwer melk rasse. Die ekonomiese belangrikheid van hierdie sekondêre eienskappe in melkproduksie stelsels is die basis vir kruisteling. Probleme soos groei tempo van verse, koei vrugbaarheid, verlaagde weerstandbiedenheid teen siektes en klein liggaam raam vir vleisproduksie in Jerseys kan verbeter word deur die kruising van Jerseys met ' n dubbele doel rasse, soos Fleckviehs wat beskik oor beter vleis potensiaal. Teen hierdie agtergrond, is hierdie studie daarop gemik om produksie en reproduksie van Jersey en Fleckvieh x Jersey koeie in 'n weiveld - gebaseerde stelsel te vergelyk. Melk opname is gedoen volgens standaard melkaantekening prosedures. Melkproduksie (melk-, veten proteïen opbrengs) was aangepas vir 305 dae van laktasie en gekorrigeer vir kalf ouderdom. ‘n Algemene lineêre model was gebruik om die effekte van ras, pariteit , maand en jaar op melk-, vet- en proteïen opbrengs sowel as vet- en proteïen persentasie te bepaal. Die vaste effekte geïdentifiseer met 'n beduidende effek op melk-, vet- en proteïen opbrengs was ras, pariteit en jaar. F × J koeie het aansienlik meer melk as J koeie (6141 ± 102 teen 5398 ± 95 kg melk) produseer . Vet opbrengs was aansienlik hoër in F × J koeie as in J koeie (272 ± 4 246 teen ± 3 kg vet). Proteïen opbrengs was ook aansienlik hoër in F × J koeie as J koeie (201 ± 3 vs 194 ± 2 kg proteïen). Vet en proteïen persentasies het geneig om effens te verskil met 'n klein effek (4.61 ± 0.04 % vet en 3.62 ± 0.03 % proteïen) vir J koeie en (4.47 ± 0.04 % vet en 3.51 ± 0.03 % proteïen) vir F × J koeie. Daar is tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat F × J gekruisde koeie kan meer produktief wees as suiwer J koeie weens heterotiese effekte. Verse kunsmatig geïnsemineer was op 13 maande ouderdom en koeie 40 dae na- kalwing aangehou was. Met behulp van bevrugting en swangerskap rekords, is vrugbaarheid eienskappe ontleed en vergelyk tussen die twee rasse, met behulp van ontleding van variansie vir deurlopende rekords. Ouderdom van bevrugting was dieselfde vir beide rasse wat in 'n soortgelyke ouderdomsgroep was by eerste kalwing. Vir koeie was die interval van kalf tot eerste inseminasie aansienlik korter (P < 0.001) vir kruisgeteelde koeie wat 76.7 ± 2.2 dae in vergelyking met 82.4 ± 2.5 dae suiwerrasse is. ‘n Groter proporsie ( P < 0.001) van 0.70 vir gekruisteelde koeie is binne 80 dae na kalwing geïnsemineer in vergelyking met 0.54 vir J koeie. Alhoewel die absolute aantal dae tussen kalwing en opvatting (DO) laer was vir F × J koeie in vergelyking met J koeie (104.8 ± 6.8 teen 114.8 ± 8.1dae, onderskeidelik), is die verskil nie betekenisvol nie. Maar die verhouding van F × J koeie wat swanger bevestig is met 100 dae in melk was 0.79, wat hoër was (P < 0.001) is as die 0.66 vir J koeie. Resultate dui daarop dat daar potensiaal is reproduktiewe prestasie te verbeter van J koeie deur kruisteling met 'n dubbel- doel rasse. Die vleisproduksie van suiwer J en Fleckvieh x Jersey (F × J) bulkalwers vergelyk. Die bul kalwers is soortgelyk grootgemaak vir kalfsvleis, d.w.s karkas gewig mag nie 100 kg oorskry as bulkalwers nie, en as osse vir vleis tot 21 maande oud. In die kalwers- en os produksie stelsels, was die gemiddelde geboorte gewig hoër (P < 0.001) vir die kruise in vergelyking met J kalwers en osse (33.5 ± 1.2 kg teen 27.9 ± 1.2 kg vir kalwers) en (33.4 ± 0.9 kg vs . 26.9 ± 0.9 kg vir osse) onderskeidelik . Die lewendige gewig op 6 maande ouderdom was 163.5 ± 3.9 kg vir J bulkalwers en was hoër (P < 0.001) vir F × J bulkalwers 180.6 ± 4.0 kg. Die F × J bul kalwers het 'n aansienlik ‘n hoër gemiddelde daaglikse toename (GDT) van 0.82 ± 0.02 kg/dag in vergelyking met 0.73 ± 0.02 kg/dag vir J bulle. Bemarkingsouderdom verskil (P < 0.001) in die kalf produksie stelsel met F × J en J bulkalwers bemark op 7.1 ± 0.1 en 6.3 ± 0.1 maande , onderskeidelik. Finale lewendige gewig van 21 maande oud was aansienlik hoër 441.4 ± 14.9 kg in F × J bulle as 322.6 ± 13.4 kg in J bulle , terwyl GDT hoër was (P < 0.001), met 0.64 ± 0.02 kg/dag en 0.46 ± 0.0 kg/dag in F × J en J bulkalwers, onderskeidelik. Gekruisde osse het 'n aansienlik hoër karkasgewig 206.5 ± 8.9 kg in vergelyking met 157.9 ± 8.6 kg van J osse. Resultate dui daarop dat daar potensiaal is om die beesvleis produksie-eienskappe van die J beeste te verbeter d.m.v. kruisteling.

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