Calving and Preweaning Growth Performance Traits of Calves Sired by Charolais, Simmental and Eastern Anatolian Red Bulls


Abstract: Charolais (C)-, Simmental (S)-, and Eastern Anatolian Red (EAR)-sired calves born in 2 locations in Eastern Anatolia were compared in terms of calving traits and preweaning growth characteristics. Breed of sire effects were significant (P < 0.01) for birth weight, 205-day weaning weight, average daily weight gain from birth to weaning, and some body measurements at birth. S- and C-sired calves were heavier at birth and larger for most body measurements at birth than EAR-sired calves. The C- and S-sired calves also had higher 205-day weight than the EAR-sired calves. Although the level of calving difficulty was higher in the S and C crosses, the differences were not statistically significant. Male calves had significantly (P < 0.01) heavier birth and 205-day weights, higher preweaning average daily gain and greater body measurements (e.g., height at withers, heart girth and cannon bone girth) than females. Location differences were also significant (P < 0.01) for survival rate from birth to weaning, preweaning growth rate and 205-day weight. In conclusion, although C- and S-sired calves performed similarly for most traits, all parameters of the preweaning growth were higher in calves sired by S and C bulls than in calves sired by EAR bulls. Therefore, both C and S could be considered as sire breeds for crossbreeding programs to be implemented in Eastern Anatolia, since these breeds did not cause an adverse influence on the calving and growth traits of the crossbred calves.

Keywords: Calf, breeds of sire, growth traits, beef cattle, calving traits

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