Calf survival and reproductive performance of Holstein-Friesian cows in central Ethiopia
Tropical Animal Health and Production
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Production Studies, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 34 Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
This study was carried out to evaluate the reproductive performance and calves survival rate of Holstein-Friesian (HF) herd in Holeta, central highland of Ethiopia. A retrospective analysis of 26 years data was carried out, from which records of 724 age at first calving (AFC), 2,022 calving intervals (CI), 2,971 breeding efficiencies (BE), 260 abortions, 111 stillbirths were derived from 795 cows. Moreover, 738 female calves' records were also included for survival rate study. The overall least squares means of AFC, CI, and BE were 40.9 ± 0.33 months, 475 ± 2.84 days, 81.9 ± 0.26%, respectively, while the incidence rates of abortion, stillbirth, and female calves survival rate for this herd were 8.0%, 3.4%, and 77.5%, respectively. The effects of parity number and year of birth/calving on CI and BE were significant (P<0.001). Moreover, birth year had significant (P<0.001) effect on AFC and calves survival rate, while calving season had significant effect on BE. The reproductive performance found in this study was lower than the performance reported in many tropical regions and the genetic potential of HF breed in their origins. Moreover, higher loss due to calf mortality was observed. Thus, the centre should consider appropriate measures to improve its herd reproductive performance and calves survival rate for attaining its aspired objectives. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
animal; animal disease; animal husbandry; article; cattle; cattle disease; Ethiopia; female; male; mortality; physiology; reproduction; retrospective study; stillbirth; veterinary abortion; Abortion, Veterinary; Animal Husbandry; Animals; Cattle; Cattle Diseases; Ethiopia; Female; Male; Mortality; Reproduction; Retrospective Studies; Stillbirth; Friesia