Evaluation of non-genetic factors affecting calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of traditionally managed Sheko cattle in southwest Ethiopia uri icon

abstract

  • The study was conducted to estimate calf growth, reproductive performance and milk yield of Ethiopia Sheko cattle and to assess non-genetic factors affecting their performance in their home tract as a step towards designing sustainable cattle conservation and improvement strategy. All the growth traits considered in the study were significantly affected by all non-genetic factors considered except for the fixed effects of Agro ecological zones (AEZs) and season of birth which were not significant for post weaning daily gain. Calving interval (CI) and days open (DO) were significantly influenced by AEZs, season and dam parity. Cows that calved in lowland had shorter CI and DO than cows which calved in midland. Cows that calved in short rainy season had Short CI and DO than those calved during dry season or long rainy season. Cows which calved for the first time had the longest CI and DO from the other parities whereas cows on their fifth parity had the shortest CI and DO. AEZ significantly affected lactation milk yield (LMY) and lactation length (LL), but not significant on daily milk yield (DMY) and 305 days yield (305DY). Season was significant on all milk traits considered except DMY. Parity effect was significant on LMY and 305DY, whereas DMY and LL were not affected. The non-genetic factors had significant effects for all of the reproductive; and many of the growth and milk performance traits considered and hence will need to be considered in cattle breed improvement program.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015