Genetic and some environmental factors affecting birth weight of zebu, friesian and jersey purebred and crossbred calves

Parent Category: 1986

S. Sivarajasingam, A. K. Kumar and A. B. sobri


Calves born heavier have a better chance of survival especially under smallholder conditions. Some factors affecting the weight of calf at birth were studied using 2 668 records of calves born in single farm. The calves included purebred Friesian, Zebu, Friesian x Zebu and Jersey x Zebu crossbreds. Male calves were born2.74% heavier than female calves. Annual variation and within year variation because of dry and wet periods were highly significant (P<0.05). The weight of calf was highest in the third parity of the dam. The dam breed significantly influenced its calf birth weight. Sindhi and Sahiwal dams increased their calf birth weight by 0%-3.16% over the Local Indian Dairy dams. Corresponding figures for Friesian crosses were 8.35%-19.62%, purebred Friesian 78.257o and Jersey crossbred dams 25.5 per cent. The F1 Zebu x Friesian (Zebu sire on Friesian cows) dams gave heavier calves than the reciprocal crosses or grades. The weight of calves at birth increased with increasing Friesian level of inheritance. The reverse was true for the Jersey crosses. The superior maternal influence of Jersey x Zebu dams could be exploited for beef production in terminal crosses involving Kedah-Kelantan, Jersey and Hereford cattle.

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