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Evaluation of the effects of sire and dam calving group on age at first calving in Brahman heifers

Author:
Earnhardt, A.L., Neuendorff, D.A., Long, C.R., Welsh, T.H., Randel, R.D.
Source:
Theriogenology 2021 v.167 pp. 32-36
ISSN:
0093-691X
Subject:
Brahman, animal age, bulls, calving, dams (mothers), daughters, heifers, male fertility, pregnancy, sexual maturity, sire evaluation, sires, yearlings
Abstract:
This study evaluated the possible effects of sire and dam calving groups on age at first calving in Brahman heifers. A total of 570 heifers born between the years 2004 and 2017 were exposed as yearlings to fertile bulls through time of pregnancy determination. A calving group was determined by calculating the mean (993 d) and standard deviation (187 d) of heifer age at first calving. Heifers considered to calve early (≤899 d; calving group = 1) or late (≥1087 d; calving group = 3) were at least half a standard deviation (94 d) away from the mean. All other heifers were considered to have an intermediate age at first calving (900–1086 d; calving group = 2). Of the 570 heifers, only heifers from a dam (n = 182) with a known age at first calving and from a sire (n = 35) with 5 or more daughters were kept to determine the effect of dam calving group and the effect of sire calving group on age at first calving and calving group in daughters, resulting in a total of 284 heifers available for analysis. Variables included were dam and sire calving groups of the heifer, heifer age at first calving, heifer calving group, heifer season of birth, and heifer year of birth. Data were analyzed using the GLM procedures of SAS and proportions were tested using Chi-square. Sire calving group did affect (P < 0.01) age at first calving and calving group in heifers, but dam calving group did not affect (P > 0.10) daughter age at first calving or calving group. Analysis of dam calving group and sire calving group effects identified a year of birth effect (P < 0.01) on daughter age at first calving and calving group, whereas there was no significant season of birth effect. The proportion of daughters calving early for sire calving groups differed significantly from the expected proportion (P < 0.01), whereas the proportion of daughters calving early for dam calving groups did not differ. An effort to produce a greater proportion of Brahman heifers capable of calving early will not be effective from the dam side but may be effective from the sire side.
Agid:
7304766