Mar 20, 2020

Direct and indirect nutritional factors that determine reproductive performance of heifer and primiparous cows

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ying-Wooi WanZhandong Liu


Pregnancy rate is a major determinant of population dynamics of wild ungulates and of productivity of livestock systems. Allocation of feeding resources, including stocking rates, prior to and during the breeding season is a crucial determinant of this vital rate. Thus, quantification of effects and interaction among multiple factors that affect pregnancy rate is essential for management and conservation of pasture-based systems. Pregnancy rate of 2982 heifers and primiparous cows was studied as a function of animal category, average daily gain during the breeding season, stocking rate, pasture type and body weight at the beginning of the breeding season. Data were obtained from 43 experiments conducted in commercial ranches and research stations in the Pampas region between 1976 and 2015. Stocking rate ranged from 200 to 464 kg live weight/ha, which brackets values for most of the grazinglands in similar regions. Age at breeding was 14-36 months (24.6 {+/-} 7.5 months); initial breeding weights were 129-506 kg and 194-570 kg for heifers and primiparous cows. Pregnancy rate was modeled with an apriori set of explanatory variables where proximate variables (breed, body weight at start of breeding, weight gain during breeding and...Continue Reading

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