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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1992;5(2): 261-266.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1992.261    Published online June 1, 1992.
Frequency of cottonseed cake supplementation for yearling heifers on blue grama range
S. Rafique, J. D. Wallace, G. Parker
Yearling replacement heifers were used in a two-year study at the Fort Stanton Experimental Ranch near Capitan, New Mexico, USA to compare frequency (once versus three times weekly) of feeding a cottonseed cake supplement. The study involved periods of 130 days (January 4 through May 14) in 1985, and 146 days (December 4 through April 29) in 1986. In each year, supplemental periods were just before the breeding season (natural breeding in multiple-sire groups) that lasted for 75 days during first year and 60 days during second year. During the first year, all (83) heifers (Angus 횞 Hereford) were supplemented at a level equivalent to 45 kg/head daily and during second year, all (69) heifers (Angus 횞 Hereford, Hereford) were fed at a level equivalent to .68 kg/head daily. In the first year, heifers were sorted by initial weight into two replications, i.e., those weighing under 223 kg were placed in replicate 1 and those weighing over 223 kg were placed in replicate 2. During the second year, heifers were sorted by breed into two replications, i.e., Angus 횞 Hereford heifers were placed in replicate 1 and Hereford heifers in replicate 2. Each year, half of the heifers in each replication were supplemented once weekly and the other half three time weekly. Weight gains of heifers were similar for the two treatments over both years of study. During the first year, weight gains for heifers supplemented once or thrice weekly (.23 vs .21 kg daily, respectively) did not differ (p>.05) and the same trend for the second year (.15 vs .16 kg daily, respectively) was observed. Similarly, breeding performance was consistent with weight gains and no difference (p>.05) between treatments was observed either year. Lower conception rates during the second tear of study (92 vs 72% for years 1 and 2, respectively) were due mainly to involvement of Hereford heifers that had an average weight of 232 kg at the start of breeding season and conception rate of 54% (averaged across both supplemental treatments). Based on the combined results of both trials, frequency of supplementation did not affect growth rate of yearling heifers nor did it influence their subsequent conception rate.
Keywords: Supplementation; Frequency; Heifers; Blue grama; Weight Gain; Breeding Performance
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