Influence of calving season and stocking rate on birth weight and weaning weight of Simmental-sired calves from Brahman-Hereford F1 dams
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Braham-Hereford F1 dams have been used to evaluate the influence of grazing pressure on forage attributes and animal performance at the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research Center at Overton. Data for this study were compiled from 1,909 records of Simmental-sired calves born to Braham-Hereford F1 cows from 1975 to 1990. Birth weight and weaning weight were analyzed independently to estimate the influence of year, season of birth, dam age, weaning age, and sex of calf. The effect of stocking rate as represented by levels of forage availability on weaning weights and subsequent birth weights was measured. Within the fall and winter calving seasons, lactating dams grazing at a high stocking rate produced calves with the lowest subsequent birth weights. Lactating dams assigned to creep-fed treatments had calves with the heaviest subsequent birth weights. Although dams that were less than 3.5 yr of age had calves with the lightest birth weights, there was no apparent decline in birth weight of calves from dams 12 to 17 yr old. Year, sex of calf, age of dam, stocking rate, season of birth, age at weaning, and birth weight were significant factors affecting weaning weight (P less than .01). Fall-born calves grazing cool-season annual pastures were heavier at weaning (267.6 kg) than either winter- (252.0 kg) or spring-born calves (240.9 kg). A stocking rate x season-of-birth interaction was observed for birth weight and weaning weight (P less than .05). Differences in weaning weight from low- vs high-stocked pastures were greater for fall-born calves (61.6 kg) than for winter-born calves (48.7).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
author list (cited authors)
Gaertner, S. J., Rouquette, F. M., Long, C. R., & Turner, J. W.