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Calving dates and subsequent intercalving intervals in New Zealand beef herds

  • C. A. Morris (a1)

Abstract

The calving dates of spring-calving cows in New Zealand Angus and Hereford herds, taken from 350 and 240 herd-years respectively, and the intercalving intervals (CI) of cows in 95 Angus and 73 Hereford herds have been summarized. The relationships of each CI with the calving date which initiated it were also analysed. Results for each breed were analysed taking account of district, herd, year and cow age (in years), a total of 35 890 Angus and 22 397 Hereford records being used. The first-calving date (FCD) was identified for each herd-year, and 0·82 of Angus and 0·75 of Hereford cows were recorded as calving within 60 days of the FCD. On a herd basis, proportionately only 0·27 of Angus and 0·15 of Hereford herds had calving spreads of 80 days or less (defined as the time from the FCD to the last calving date). With barren years ignored, the CIs of cows averaged 370 days (Angus) and 368 days (Hereford). Two-year-old cows had on average a CI of 12 (Angus) or 7 days (Hereford) longer in 1974-75 than older cows, and the differences were both 12 days in 1975-76. Regression analyses showed that, on average, the later the calving date within a herd-year and age group, the shorter the subsequent CI. For cows calving early in the first year, the CI increased by 7 days for Angus and 5·4 days for Herefords for each 10 days before the mean calving date for the breed. There were significant effects of district and cow age on the regression estimates. The overall regressions were not consistent with those derived from British beef industry data.

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Calving dates and subsequent intercalving intervals in New Zealand beef herds

  • C. A. Morris (a1)

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