Adsa Logo White Adsa Title White

Weekly body weight change in wild-type and slick-haired Puerto Rican Holstein calves during the first eight weeks of life.

I. Colón-Rodríguez

Events

06-22-2020

Join I. Colón-Rodríguez on this page for a live text chat!
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM GMT

Abstract:

M57
Weekly body weight change in wild-type and slick-haired Puerto Rican Holstein calves during the first eight weeks of life.
I. Colón-Rodríguez*, K. I. Domenech-Pérez, H. L. Sánchez-Rodríguez. University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

Previous studies have reported different growth trends and mature body dimensions between wild-type (WT) and slick-haired (SL) Puerto Rican Holsteins heifers and cows, respectively. However, these comparisons were carried out with animals older than 3 mo of age and, to the authors' knowledge, no data exists comparing younger animals. Thus, the present study aimed to compare the weekly BW recordings between WT (n = 10) and SL (n = 10) Puerto Rican female Holstein calves at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Lajas, Puerto Rico. From August 30 to November 28, 2019 20 female calves were recruited at birth in WT/SL pairs. Sires were evenly distributed between hair coat groups. The BW of each calf was recorded weekly, every Thursday afternoon during the first 8 weeks of life. During the first sampling the WT and SL groups were on average 4.75 ± 1.39 and 4.56 ± 2.19 d old, respectively. Calves were weaned at 45 d of age and maintained in the same individual cages until the end of the study. Data were analyzed by the GLIMMIX and REG procedures of SAS. There was no interaction between hair coat type and age affecting the calves' BW (P = 0.6867). No differences (P = 0.2831) were observed for BW between WT and SL calves with 44.58 ± 8.15 and 45.58 ± 8.35kg on average, respectively. However, age affected both groups BW (P < 0.0001). From 1 to 8 weeks of age BW increased at a linear rate in both the WT (BW = 3.31age + 29.02; R2 = 0.84; P < 0.0001) and the SL calves (BW = 3.32age + 30.45; R2 = 0.83; P < 0.0001). In the present study no differences in growth rates were observed between hair coat groups during the first 8 weeks of life. Future studies should be directed at evaluating the complete growth curve for both phenotypes.

Keywords: dairy calves, slick-haired Holstein calves, body weight.