Sex of calf and age of dam adjustment factors for birth and weaning weight in Tswana and Composite beef cattle breeds in Botswana
Records on 2 257 Composite and 5 923 Tswana calves born between the period of 1988 and 2006 in Botswana were used to calculate additive correction factors for the effects of sex of calf and age of dam on birth weight and weaning weight. The mature age group in both breeds for the two growth characteristics was 5 - 12 year old dams. Male calves were heavier than their female contemporaries throughout the pre-weaning growth period. The sex of calf adjustments for birth and weaning weights were 2.75 and 8.21 kg in the Tswana while the corresponding values for the Composite were 2.84 and 10.11 kg. Both birth and weaning weights increased with advancing age of dam, reaching a peak in mature dams and declined when dams reached an old age. Age of dam adjustment factors for birth weight in the 3, 4 and 13+ year age groups were, respectively, 1.74, 0.96 and 1.87 kg in the Tswana. Corresponding values for the Composite were 2.28, 0.94 and 2.06 kg, respectively. Age of dam adjustment factors for WW were respectively 10.36 and 5.46 kg for age groups 3 - 4 and 13+ years in the Tswana. Adjustment factors for weaning weight in the Composite breed were 13.84, 3.20 and 9.58 kg for age groups 3, 4 and 13+ years, respectively. These results indicate that adjustment factors for birth and weaning weights should be considered separately for sex of calf and age of dam in these breeds, and also, that these adjustments need to be applied within the breed from which they were derived. © South African Society for Animal Science.