B. BAYRAM1, M. YANAR2 and O. AKBULUT2
1 Gumushane University, Aydin Dogan Vocational School, Kelkit 29600, Gumushane, Turkey
2 Ataturk University, Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, 25240 Erzurum, Turkey
BAYRAM, B., M. YANAR and O. AKBULUT, 2009. The effect of average daily gain and age at first calving on reproductive and milk production traits of Brown Swiss and Holstein Friesian cattle. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 15: 453-462
The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of average daily gain and age at first calving on the reproductive and milk production traits of Brown Swiss (BS) and Holstein Friesian (HF) cattle. For this purpose, daily gains and ages at first calving were divided into two groups which were below the average called as the “slow” or “early” groups and above the average named as “moderate” or “late” groups respectively. BS heifers in the moderate group reached the first insemination age and first calving age 103.7 and 101.7 days earlier (P < 0.01) than these in the slow group respectively. The corresponding values for HF heifers were 37.8 and 29.5 days respectively and were not significant. While the average daily gain had negative effects on reproduction traits following the first calving, the daily gain of BS had no effect on the milk production traits in all parities. HF heifers in the moderate group had higher (P < 0.05) actual (585 kg) and 305 days milk yield (324 kg) in the second parity.
Early calving in both breeds resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the actual and 305-days milk yield in the first parity. Early calving caused a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in the actual milk yield, 305-days milk yield, actual milk fat and 305-days milk fat yield of BS cows in the first parity. Either early or late calving in BS didn’t affect on milk traits in second and third parities. The early calving in HF lowered significantly (P < 0.05) the actual and 305-days milk yield in first lactation. However, late calving in HF resulted in lower actual milk yield, 305-days milk yield, actual milk fat yield and 305-days milk fat yield in third parity.