Pre-weaning growth performances of Fogera calves at Metekel cattle improvement and multiplication ranch, North West Ethiopia
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Woreta College of Agriculture, P.O.Box 06, Wereta, Ethiopia; Bahir Dar University, Department of Animal Production and Technology, P.O.Box 79, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
This paper reports the birth weight, weaning weight and average daily body weight gain, and the non-genetic factors affecting these traits of Fogera cattle at Metekel cattle breeding and improvement ranch. Data collected from 1999 to 2008 were analysed using general linear model procedures. The fixed effects considered were sex of calf, season of birth, parity of dam and year of birth. The overall least square mean birth weight, weaning weight and average daily body weight gain obtained were 20.7±0.11 kg, 88.6±1.3 kg and 297±3.63 gram, respectively. Birth weight was affected by all fixed effects considered except parity of dam. Similarly, weaning weight was influenced by season of calving, parity of dam and year of birth while sex of calf had no significant effect. Average pre-weaning daily body weight gain was influenced by year of birth and parity of dam but not affected by sex of calf and season of birth. The current study revealed that Fogera calves had lower birth and weaning weights compared to the previous works on the same breed which could be due to both genetic (inbreeding) and non-genetic factors and weak managerial procedures. Therefore, revising the selection program (use of genetic parameter estimates, breeding values) and improving the management levels would help the ranch achieve its objective. Strict herd management practices need to be forwarded.