Skip to main content Accessibility help

Reproduction in continuously underfed Brahman cows

  • R. R. Vera (a1), C. A. Ramírez (a1) and H. Ayala (a1)


This experiment examined the effects of sustained levels of undernutrition applied to grazing Brahman heifers on subsequent lifetime reproductive performance. Weaned heifers were raised to a target weight of 270 kg at three different stocking rates to obtain contrasting weight gains (0·097 kglday, L = low; 0·215 kg/day, M = medium; 0·259 kg/day, H = high). They were then subjected to common grazing in a low-quality Brachiaria humidicola pasture, where mean weight changes ranged between -0.100 and +0·300 kg/day depending upon season and physiological condition. Differences in age at first calving between L and the other treatments (200 days) were maintained in subsequent calvings. Calf weaning weights were higher in L and M than in H. The mean weight of calf weaned per cow per year was higher in M than in either L of H. Cow weight at conception increased with parity, and was higher in L than in the other treatments. Similar trends were observed for the dam's weight preand post calving, and at weaning. This trend was associated with higher weight loss during lactation in I..

We conclude that in tropical grazing systems that allow only low growth rates, differences established early in reproductive life may become perpetuated for the lifetime of the animal. Management implications in the context of extensive tropical grazing systems are discussed.



Hide All
Cajas, G. S., Vera, R. R., Tergas, L. E. and Ayala, H. 1985. Efecto de la carga sobre el crecimiento y manifestatión del celo en novillas levantadas en pasturas mejoradas. Pasturas Tropicales Boletín 7: (3), 27.
Frank, B. R. 1976. Lack of adoption of research results in the dry tropics. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production 11: 22P.
Hale, D. H. 1975. Nutrition, hormones and fertility. Rhodesian Agricultural Journal 72: 6973.
Hoyos, C. and Lascano, C. 1985. Calidad de Brachiaria humidicola en pastoreo en un ecosistema de bosque semi-siempre verde estacional. Pasturas Tropicales Boletin 7:(2), 35.
Johnsson, I. D. and Obst, J. M. 1984. The effects of level of nutrition before and after 8 months of age on subsequent milk and calf production of beef heifers over three lactations. Animal Production 38: 5768.
Louw, B. P., Thomas, C. R. and Lishman, A. W. 1988. The influence of loss and gain of body mass on ovarian activity in beef cows. South African Journal of Animal Science 18: 17.
Morris, C. A. 1980. A review of relationships between aspects of reproduction in beef heifers and their lifetime production. Associations with fertility in the first joining season and with age at first joining. Animal Breeding Abstracts 48: 655676.
Mukasa-Mugerwa, E. 1989. A review of reproductive performance of female Bos indicus (zebu) cattle.Monograph No. 6, International Livestock Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Reid, J. T., Loosli, J. W., Trimberger, K. L., Adsell, S. A. and Smith, S. E. 1964. Causes and prevention of reproductive failures in dairy cattle. 4. Effect of plane of nutrition during early life on growth. Cornell University, Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 987, Ithaca, NY.
Statistical Analysis Systems Institute. 1988. SAS/STAT user's guide, release 6.03 edition. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
Thornton, P. K. 1989. Computer experimentation with an energy-based simulation model of animal production in the eastern savannas of Colombia. Tropical Agriculture 66: 217220.
Vera, R. R. 1991. Growth and conception in continuously underfed Brahman heifers. Animal Produciton 53: 4550.
Vera, R. R., Seré, C. and Tergas, L. E. 1986. Development of improved grazing systems in the savannas of Tropical America. Proceedings of the second international rangeland congress, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 107111.
Williams, G. L. 1990. Suckling as a regulator of postpartum rebreeding in cattle: a review. Journal of Animal Science 68: 831852.


Reproduction in continuously underfed Brahman cows

  • R. R. Vera (a1), C. A. Ramírez (a1) and H. Ayala (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed