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Creep feeding and prepartum supplementation effects on growth and fertility of Brahman-cross cattle in the dry tropics

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Fordyce, G., Cooper, N.J., Kendall, I.E., O'Leary, B.M. and De Faveri, J. (1996) Creep feeding and prepartum supplementation effects on growth and fertility of Brahman-cross cattle in the dry tropics. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 36 (4). pp. 389-395. ISSN 0816-1089


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/EA9960389


Post-partum anoestrus is a primary contributor to low branding rates in Bos indicus cattle herds in the dry tropics of northern Australia [Entwistle, K. W. (1983). Australian Meat Research Committee Review No. 431. To increase branding rates, it was hypothesised that creep feeding for a short period in mid-late lactation during the latter half of the growing season may trigger an earlier onset of post-partum oestrus cycling, just as short-term, high-level, prepartum supplementation can achieve. Two experiments were conducted using Fn Brahman-cross cows (1/2, 5/8 and 3/4 crosses with Beef Shorthorn) which calved from late October to late Januarv. Cows were mated from mid-late Januarv to mid-April. Calves in one treatment in both experiments had ad libitum access to creep feed (calf pellets: 16% crude protein, 10 MJ ME/kg) for 4042 days from late February to early April. In experiment 2, the effects on cow growth and fertility due to supplementation with either cottonseed meal (1.5 kg/day) or molasses with 7.4% (w/w) urea for 49 days late in the dry season before calving ('spike' feeding) were also evaluated. Control cattle were unsupplemented. Creep feed was only consumed at 0.1 and 0.4 kg/day in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Short-term creep feeding had no consistent effects on cow liveweights, condition, or fertility, or on calf growth and temperaments under extensive grazing conditions during the tropical wet season. Spike feeding reduced weight loss by 0.2-0.4 kg/day (P<0.01). The effects on liveweights did not persist into the wet season. There were no effects on cow fertility in this year of extreme weather conditions, when 4 months of nutritional and climatic stress followed supplementation.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Live Archive:05 Apr 2024 01:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2024 01:57

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