The Growth and Survival Characteristics of Holstein Female Calves Weaned at Various Ages


Abstract: This study was carried out at Kırklereli - Karacadağ Farm of Tikveşli Agricultural Company. It was aimed to investigate the growth and survival characteristics and the most cost-effective weaning age of Holstein female calves weaned at various ages. In the study, 100 female calves born single from Holstein heifers were used and they were divided randomly into five groups each having 20 calves. The calves were weaned at 28 (Group 28), 35 (Group 35), 42 (Group 42), 56 (Group 52) and 70 (Group 70) days of age. The live weights at 180^{th} day of age of calves in 28, 35, 42, 56 and 70^{th} day weaning groups were 160.0 kg, 162.4 kg, 167.7 kg, 169.3 kg and 175.4 kg, respectively. In terms of 180^{th} day live weight, Group 70 had the highest result and the differences between this group and groups 28 and 35 were statistically significant. The differences between the other groups for 180th day live weight were not significant. There was no mortality in the 100 calves during the entire 180 days of the study. The results of this study showed that early weaning of female calves could be applied in farms with good feeding and management conditions. This practice will provide the cheaper and healthy breeding of female calves until the age they start production.

Keywords: Calf, Holstein, growth, weaning age, survival

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