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Reproductive performance of northern Australian beef herds. 3. Descriptive analysis of major factors affecting reproductive performance

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McCosker, K. D., Smith, D. R., Burns, B. M., Fordyce, G., O’Rourke, P. K. and McGowan, M. R. (2023) Reproductive performance of northern Australian beef herds. 3. Descriptive analysis of major factors affecting reproductive performance. Animal Production Science, 63 (4). pp. 320-331.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/AN22244

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/AN22244


Context: The performance of commercial beef-breeding herds in northern Australia is highly variable. Identifying and understanding the major factors that influence this is critical in determining which management interventions should be implemented to best manage these factors.Aims: This study aimed to describe the occurrence and magnitude of the risk factors identified as being strongly associated with one or more measures of cow performance in northern Australia.Methods: A prospective epidemiological study was conducted in a cross-section of commercial beef-breeding herds in northern Australia, to determine and quantify the major associations of up to 83 candidate herd management, nutritional and environmental risk factors with cow performance. Descriptive analyses of significant risk factors were conducted.Key results: Unfavourable levels of risk factors were observed for all country types and across three cow-age groups. However, generally, adverse property-level nutritional, environmental and management risk factors had a higher incidence in the Northern Forest, which was associated with significantly lower performance of heifers and cows. This was reflected in generally lower body condition of heifers and cows in this country type. Although the performance of heifers and cows was generally higher in the Southern Forest, the irregular incidence of adverse risk factors contributed to the observed quite variable performance.Conclusions: The factors significantly affecting the performance of cows in the major beef-breeding regions of northern Australia are described. These factors were additively more adverse in the Northern Forest.Implications: In this study, the necessary understanding of the factors most likely to be affecting the performance beef cows in this environment has been described. This is required to make appropriate decisions about management interventions to control these factors.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:beef production, cattle, fetal and calf loss, herd management, mortality, northern Australia, pregnancy, reproduction, risk factors.
Subjects:Science > Biology > Reproduction
Animal culture > Breeding and breeds
Animal culture > Cattle
Live Archive:22 Jun 2023 06:09
Last Modified:22 Jun 2023 06:09

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