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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1989;2(4): 565-570.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1989.565    Published online December 1, 1989.
Influence of age at first calving on the milk production of native and crossbred dairy cows
U. N. Khan, L. L. Benyshek, M. D. Ahmad, M. Z. Chaudhary, S. M. Athar
The influence of age at first calving on the milk production of crossbred dairy cows produced under major dairy cattle crossbreeding projects in Pakistan was studied from the year 1974 to 1980. These animals were bred and raised at the Livestock Production Research Institute, Bahadarnagar (LPRI), Livestock Experiment Station, Karachi (LES) and the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF). Local Sahiwal (SWL) cattle were crossed with the European breeds, Holstein Friesian (HF) and Jersey (J) at LPRI and UAF. At LES, native Red Sindhi (RS) were crossed with the HF and J breeds. At LES and UAF, the crossbred progeny, thus, produced comprised of halfbreds only while at LPRI 3/4 HF, 3/4 J, 1/4 HF and 1/4 J groups were also available for this study. The average age at first calving was considerably higher among the native breeds. At LES, the RS calved for the first time at an age of approximately 56 months. Corresponding values for SWLs at LPRI and UAF were 44 and 64 months, respectively. The 1/2 HF and 1/2 J crossbreds calved first at the age of approximately 25, 26, 34, 36, 37 and 38 months at LPRI, LES and UAF respectively. For 3/4 HF, 3/4 K, 1/4 HF and 1/4 J groups of LPRI the average age at first calving was 29, 26, 34 and 33 months. Considerable differences in age at first calving between the crossbreds and native breeds were observed. Due to early maturity, the former attained the peak level of milk production in third lactation whereas the latter groups, because of late maturity, reached this level in their fourth lactation. This study suggested that early maturity in Zebu cattle (Box indicus) could be induced through crossbreeding with European cattle (Bos Taurus).
Keywords: Age; Calving; Milk Production; Crossbred; Dairy

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