Animal Science Department

 

Date of this Version

2011

Comments

Published in J. Anim. Sci. 2011. 89:2365–2372. Copyright © 2011 Journal of Animal Sciences. Used by Permission. doi:10.2527/jas.2010-3767

Abstract

Two experiments at 2 Nebraska locations evaluated effects of heifer development system on growth and pregnancy rate. In Exp. 1, heifers (n = 270, BW = 225 ± 2 kg) grazed winter Sandhills range (WR) or west central Nebraska corn residue (CR) with a supplement (0.45 kg/animal; 31% CP; 80 mg·animal−1·d−1 of monensin). In Exp. 2, heifers (n = 180, BW = 262 ± 3 kg) grazed eastern Nebraska WR or CR with a supplement (0.45 to 0.90 kg/d; 31% CP; 80 to 160 mg·animal−1·d−1 of monensin). The CR heifers tended to have less (P = 0.10) ADG compared with WR heifers before breeding in Exp. 1; however, prebreeding ADG was similar (P = 0.77) in Exp. 2. Prebreeding BW, percentage of mature BW at breeding, and pregnancy determination BW were similar (P ≥ 0.14) for CR and WR in both experiments. Percentage of heifers puberTwo experiments at 2 Nebraska locations evaluated effects of heifer development system on growth and pregnancy rate. In Exp. 1, heifers (n = 270, BW = 225 ± 2 kg) grazed winter Sandhills range (WR) or west central Nebraska corn residue (CR) with a supplement (0.45 kg/animal; 31% CP; 80 mg·animal−1·d−1 of monensin). In Exp. 2, heifers (n = 180, BW = 262 ± 3 kg) grazed eastern Nebraska WR or CR with a supplement (0.45 to 0.90 kg/d; 31% CP; 80 to 160 mg·animal−1·d−1 of monensin). The CR heifers tended to have less (P = 0.10) ADG compared with WR heifers before breeding in Exp. 1; however, prebreeding ADG was similar (P = 0.77) in Exp. 2. Prebreeding BW, percentage of mature BW at breeding, and pregnancy determination BW were similar (P ≥ 0.14) for CR and WR in both experiments. Percentage of heifers pubertal at breeding, AI conception, and AI pregnancy rate (Exp. 2) and final pregnancy rate in both experiments were also similar (P ≥ 0.27) for CR and WR heifers. Precalving BW, percentage of calves born in the first 21 d, calf birth date, calf birth BW, and dystocia score were all similar (P ≥ 0.21) for CR and WR heifers in both experiments. Cow BW at weaning, calf weaning BW, adjusted 205-d calf BW, and second season pregnancy rates were not affected (P ≥ 0.16) by treatment. Heifer development system did not affect (P ≥ 0.56) the cost of producing 1 pregnant heifer in Exp. 1 or 2. Development on CR may reduce ADG before breeding, but did not affect pregnancy rate. Heifer development using CR or WR postweaning resulted in similar reproductive performance and development cost.

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