Live Body Weight Evaluation of Four Genotypes of Dairy Heifers under Free Grazing Conditions in Ecuador
Keywords:growth curves, development, tropical zones (Sourse, CAB)
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the evolution of body weight of four dairy genotypes under free grazing conditions in Canton Arosemena Tola, Napo Province, Ecuador.
Materials and methods: The individual body weight of 48 dairy heifers (12 per genetic group) derived from crossing Brahman bulls x Gyr (G), Brown Swiss (BS), Jersey (J) or Sahiwal (S) cows were recorded every 30 days between 15-17 months (December 2012) and 31-33 months (March 2014) of age.
Results: The Brown Swiss cross was the heaviest at beginning of the trial and maintained a significant weight difference (Pâ‰¤0,001) until the last body weight record. No statistically significant differences between genotypes in daily weight gain (P> 0.05) were observed, showing the four genetic groups similar values for this trait (0.265 grams per day on average for the period analyzed).
Conclusions: The four genotypes showed monthly body weight gains values similar to those commonly observed in the region. They are insufficient to ensure a good start of the reproductive activity of females and impact negatively on the value of the same. None of them showed peculiarities related to this character that allows differentiating it from any of the other groups.
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