EFFECT OF HOLSTEIN-FRIESIAN HEIFERS’ GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT ON MILK PRODUCTION IN THE FIRST LACTATION

A. KOVÁCS, E. BÁDER, Z. GERGÁCZ, J. BARTYIK, L. PONGRÁCZ, E. SZÜCS

Abstract


The aim of this study was to evaluate growth and development of heifers from birth to 24 months of age and the effects on milk yield in first lactation. Body weight and height at withers of female calves (N=4167) were taken at monthly intervals. At 3 months of age the average height at withers of calves, live weight and wither index was 80.9 kg, 86.1 cm and 1.0, respectively. Figures taken at 6 months of age the height at withers, live weight and wither index increased by 17.6 cm, 92.3 kg and 1.7. Respective mean values at 9, 16 and 24 months of age were 250.0, 413.9 and 603.7 kg; 116.0, 128.5 and 139.7 cm; and 2.2, 3.2 and 4.3. The heifers with the ideal or lower ones at 3, 9 and 16 month of age produced higher milk yields in the first lactation milk yield by 200-500 kg as compared with the highest index category. Higher index values at 6 months of age resulted in increase of milk yields in the first the lactation. At 24 months of age first lactation milk yields were similar in all indexcategories (8647.2, 8703.5 and 8717.5 kg, respectively). No variations neither in butterfat (3.6%) nor milk protein (3.1%) content were present within the index categories at any ages. In conclusion, findings reveal that the withers height index seems to be an appropriate tool in monitoring of growth and development of replacement heifers for taking corrective actions in feeding and breeding practice.


Keywords


Holstein-Friesian; heifer; growth; milk yield; height at withers; body weight; withers height index

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LUCRARI STIINTIFICE ZOOTEHNIE SI BIOTEHNOLOGII (SCIENTIFIC PAPERS ANIMAL SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGIES)

ISSN print 1841 - 9364
ISSN online 2344 - 4576
ISSN-L  1841 - 9364
(former ISSN 1221-5287, E-ISSN 1841-9364)

PUBLISHER: AGROPRINT Timisoara, Romania
PAPER ACCESS: Full text articles available for free
FREQUENCY: Semiannual
PUBLICATION LANGUAGE: English
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Banat´s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine "King Michael I of Romania" from Timisoara
Faculty of Animal Science and Biotechnologies
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