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Comparison of Growth Characteristics of Holstein, Brown Swiss, and Their F1 Crossbred during the Wintering Period

Author(s): Y. Sa s?z | A. Hayirli | N. Sabuncuo lu | A. Yildiz | E. La?in | ?. ?oban

Journal: Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
ISSN 1680-5593

Volume: 4;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 502;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: Growth performance | Breed | wintering | Grain supplementation

This experiment was conducted to compare growth characteristics of Holstein (n = 12), Brown Swiss (n = 10) and Holstein x Brown Swiss crossbred (n = 6) spring-born calves supplemented with grain during the wintering period. After ending the weaning period, animals were transferred to tie-stall barn and were subjected to three phases of wintering, each lasting 56 days. From beginning of 219 days of age, during 168-day experimental period (6 months), live weight was measured bi-monthly period. In addition to ad libitum hay, each animal was supplemented with 1, 1.25 and 1.50 kilogram barley per day during the respective experimental periods. Data were analyzed using the GLM procedure using initial body weight as a covariate. There was no breed effect on body weight, feed intake, average daily gain and feed conversion ratio. However, bull calves gained more body weight and consumed less amount of feed per kilogram body weight gained than heifer calves. There was no breed by sex interaction effect on growth performance variables. A lack of breed differences could be attributed to grain supplementation. Sex effect, though experiment conducted pre-puberty period, on growth performance was ambiguous. Results of this experiment suggest that regardless of animal breed, feeding post-weaned calves nutritionally balanced ration grain supplementation has merit to achieve optimum body weight for grazing season to reduce slaughter age and subsequent successful reproductive performance to be used as replacement heifers.

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