DOI: /10.5513/JCEA01/14.3.1326

Original scientific paper

THE INFLUENCE OF HEALTH STATUS IN CALVES WITH SUBSEQUENT GROWTH OF HEIFERS AND MILK PRODUCTION IN DAIRY COWS

2013, 14 (3)   p. 1200-1209

Peter Strapák, Peter Juhas, Jozef Bujko

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the association between enteritis and pneumonia during first months of life and subsequent growth and milk production traits of these animals. A total of 1327 calves were followed in this study. Calves were divided to three groups: Group A) healthy calves; Group B) calves that suffered from enteritis one or more times from the birth to 6 mo of age; and Group C) calves that suffered from birth to 6 mo of age from pneumonia. Subsequently all animals were observed at the following age stages: calves, heifers and cows. For all groups (age stages) the weight and daily weight gain in calves (in the breeding period from birth to 6 mo of age), the weight and daily weight gain weight in heifers (in the breeding period from 7 to 25 mo of age) and production parameters of cows in the first lactation (milk in kg, fat in kg and protein in kg) were recorded. Calves in Groups B and C exhibited lower average daily gain (690.40 g, SD = 186.18, N.S. and 636.80 g, SD = 221.19, P < 0.05 respectively) than healthy calves (Group A, 703.91 g, SD = 223.48). Heifers in Group B exhibited increased daily weight gain (830.01, SD = 73.57, N.S.) compared to healthy animals (Group A, 828.31, SD = 89.16). The general hypothesis regarding the negative effect of enteritis (in breeding age animals that suffer from disease) on growth in the Simmental breed has not been confirmed. Heifers that had suffered with pneumonia (Group C) showed significantly lower average daily gain (784.64, SD = 102.96, P < 0.05) than heifers in group A and B. In the evaluation of milk production in the first lactation, average production of 5800 kg per lactation (SD = 3.96) was recorded in Group A cows. Cows in Group B in first lactation produced 5977 kg of milk per lactation on average (SD = 4.31). Cows from Group C in first lactation produced lowest amount of milk during the first lactation period (5674 kg, SD = 3.87), but difference among A, B and C group was not significant.

Keywords

health status, calves, average daily gain, milk production traits, diseases

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