Effect of easy calving beef sires on the birth weight and growth of dairy beef cattle

Authors

  • V.T. Burggraaf
  • D.B. Lineham

Abstract

The impact of using high genetic merit beef bulls in a dairy beef supply chain was compared to using unrecorded beef bulls. Dairy cows were inseminated with Ezicalve Hereford semen (high genetic merit for calving ease and growth), followed by natural mating with Ezicalve and unrecorded Hereford bulls. The resulting 186 progeny were monitored from birth to 2 years old. Ezicalve sired calves required no calving assistance and averaged 4 kg lighter at birth than those from unrecorded sires (P<0.01), but took no longer to reach 100 kg liveweight. Liveweight gain during finishing was similar across sire types, but calves sired by artificial breeding were born an average of 5 weeks earlier than naturally sired calves and hence, averaged 20 to 35 kg heavier at any given date (P<0.001). There were also differences amongst Ezicalve sires in the liveweight gain of their progeny during finishing, generally reflecting their breeding values. Keywords: birth weight, calving ease, dairy beef, liveweight gain

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Published

2016-01-01

Issue

Section

Past volumes