Animal Science, Department of


Date of this Version



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2020 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report


Cattle records were gathered and evaluated over a 12- yr period to investigate how cow age impacts heifer progeny growth and reproductive performance. Cow records from March and May calving herds, were categorized into young, moderate, and old groups based on their age at calving each year in the herd. Heifer calves born to young cows had lighter body weight at birth and adjusted 205- d BW than heifers from moderate and old cows. Heifer pre-breeding BW and pregnancy determination BW were not influenced by dam age. However, age of dam does impact the percentage of heifers to reach puberty prior to the start of breeding with no differences in percentage of heifers who calved within the first 21 d of calving in the subsequent calving season and pregnancy rates. Average number of calf crops from heifer progeny was different among all age of dam groups with young dams having more calves. Results from this study suggest older cows have a positive influence on growth and pre-breeding puberty status in female progeny during heifer development. Heifer progeny from young dams, however, had increased calf crops and longevity within the cowherd.