128 research outputs found

    A Comparison of the Productivity of Suckler Cows of Different Breed Composition

    Get PDF
    End of project reportThe findings obtained in a comparison of 5 suckler dam breed types {Limousin x Friesian (LF), Limousin x (Limousin x Friesian) (LLF), Limousin (L), Charolais (C) and Simmental x (Limousin x Friesian) (SLF)} and their progeny through to slaughte

    Post-weaning performance and carcass characteristics of steer progency from different suckler cow breed types

    Get PDF
    peer-reviewedIn two experiments a total of 44 steer progeny of spring-calving Charolais (C) and Hereford × Friesian (HF) suckler cows and C sires were slaughtered at approximately 2 years of age. Following weaning they were offered silage and 1 kg of concentrate per head daily during a 5 month winter after which they spent 7 months at pasture. In Experiment 1, animals were given a silage/concentrate diet during a finishing period of either 95 or 152 days. In Experiment 2, steers were offered either a daily diet of silage plus 6 kg of concentrates or concentrates to appetite plus 5 kg of silage (fresh weight) during the final 140-day finishing period. Following slaughter, an 8-rib pistola from each animal was dissected. For the two experiments combined C and HF progeny had carcass weights of 372 and 385 (s.e. 6.1) kg, proportions of carcass as pistola of 467 and 454 (s.e. 2.8) g/kg and pistola meat proportions of 676 and 642 (s.e. 5.1) g/kg, respectively. All fat traits were lower for the C than HF progeny but there was no difference in carcass conformation score. Increasing slaughter weight increased carcass weight (P < 0.001), kidney plus channel fat weight (P < 0.001), and pistola fat proportion (P < 0.001) and decreased the proportions of carcass as pistola (P < 0.05), pistola meat (P < 0.01), and bone (P < 0.05). In conclusion, breed type had no effect on carcass growth but the C progeny had higher meat yield than the HF. Increasing slaughter weight increased fatness and reduced meat yield

    Effect of age and nutrient restriction pre partum on beef suckler cow serum immunoglobulin concentrations, colostrum yield, composition and immunoglobulin concentration and immune status of their progeny

    Get PDF
    peer-reviewedThe effect of cow age (multiparous (MP) v. primiparous (PP)) and nutritional restriction pre partum (grass silage ad libitum v. straw only ad libitum for the last 15 (s.d. 3.3) days of gestation) on cow serum immunoglobulin (Ig) concentration, on colostrum yield, composition and Ig concentration and on calf serum Ig concentrations (at ~8 and 48 h post partum) using spring-calving Limousin Holstein-Friesian cows and their progeny was studied over 3 years. The method of colostrum administration (stomach tube vs. assisted suckling within 1 h post partum) on calf immune status was also investigated. When feeding colostrum the target was to give each calf 50 mL per kg birthweight via stomach tube. Colostrum yield and Ig concentration were measured following administration of oxytocin and hand-milking of half (Experiments 1 and 2) or the complete udder (Experiment 3). Following an 8-h period after birth during which suckling was prevented a further colostrum sample was obtained. There was no significant difference in first milking colostrum Ig subclass concentrations between the within-quarter fractions or between the front and rear quarters of the udder in either MP or PP cows. Colostrum Ig subclass concentrations at second milking were 0.46 to 0.65 of that at first milking. Compared to MP cows offered silage, colostrum yield and the mass of colostrum IgG1, IgG2, IgM, IgA and total Ig produced was lower (P < 0.001) for PP cows and the mass of IgG1, IgM and total Ig produced was lower (P < 0.05) for MP cows offered straw. Calves from PP cows and MP cows offered straw had significantly lower serum IgG1 and total Ig concentrations at 48 h post partum than calves from MP cows offered silage but there was no difference (P > 0.05) between colostrum feeding methods. In conclusion, calves from PP cows and MP cows offered straw had a lower humoral immune status than those from MP cows offered grass silage

    Optimising The Response To Supplementary Concentrates By Beef Cattle In Winter

    Get PDF
    End of project reportConcentrates are a major component of feed costs in winter finishing of beef cattle. Two separate experiments were carried out to evaluate the response to increasing supplementary concentrate level with grass silage and the effects of feeding the silage and concentrates separately or as a total mixed ration (TMR). In experiment 1, a total of 117 finishing steers (initial live weight 538 kg, s.d. 35.5) were assigned to a preexperimental slaughter group of 9 animals and to 6 feeding treatments of 18 animals each. The feeding treatments were: 1) silage (SO) only offered ad libitum, 2) SO plus a low level of concentrates offered separately (LS), 3) SO plus a low level of concentrates offered as a TMR (LM), 4) SO plus a medium level of concentrates offered separately (MS), 5) SO plus a medium level of concentrates offered as a TMR (MM), and 6) concentrates ad libitum plus a restricted silage allowance (AL). Low and medium target concentrate levels were 3 and 6 kg dry matter (DM) per head daily. When silage and concentrates were fed separately, the daily concentrate allowance was given in one morning feed. The animals were individually fed for a mean period of 132 days. After slaughter, carcasses were weighed and graded and the ribs joint was dissected into its component tissues. Silage DM intake decreased but total DM intake increased with increasing concentrate level. Live weight gains for SO, LS, LM, MS, MM and AL were 0.34, 0.86, 0.86, 1.02, 1.00 and 1.12 (s.e. 0.064) kg/day, respectively. Corresponding carcass weight gains were 0.25, 0.58, 0.58, 0.71, 0.68 and 0.82 (s.e. 0.028) kg/day. All measures of fatness increased, ribs joint bone proportion decreased, and muscle proportion was not significantly affected by dietary concentrate level. There were no significant interactions between concentrate level and method of feeding. Compared with offering the feeds separately, feeding a TMR increased silage DM intake by proportionately 0.06 and total DM intake by proportionately 0.04. Otherwise, method of feeding had no significant effect on performance, slaughter or carcass traits. Mean rumen pH decreased while ammonia concentration tended to increase with increasing concentrate level. Total volatile fatty acids and the acetate to propionate ratio were lowest for SO. Method of feeding had no significant effect on rumen fermentation

    Breed compostition of the Irish cattle herd.

    Get PDF
    End of Project ReportInformation was collected on cow and sire breeds in both dairy and suckler herds in the National Farm Survey (NFS) in autumn 1998. The number of farms included in the analysis was 1030 with farms containing less than 2 economic size units (equivalent to 3 to 4 dairy cows) excluded from the sample. The main findings of the survey were as follows: • Ninety-eight percent of dairy cows and 96% of dairy herd replacements were Friesian/Holstein • The suckler cow herd contained 46% early-maturing breed crosses (Hereford 31%, Aberdeen Angus 12% and Shorthorn 3%) 2% Friesians, 48% of the three main continental breed crosses (Charolais 17%, Simmental 16%, Limousin 15%) and 4% other (mainly continental crosses). Compared to the adult cows herd replacements had less early-maturing breed crosses and Friesians (total 42%) and more (55%) of the three main continental breed crosses (Charolais 20%, Simmental 15%, Limousin 20%). • Overall, in 1998, it was estimated that the national cow herd consisted of 52% Friesian/Holstein, 23% early maturing breed crosses and 26% late maturing breed crosses. • Forty-seven percent of dairy cows were bred to Friesian/Holstein sires, 26% were bred to early maturing sire breeds and 27% were bred to continental sire breeds. The corresponding figure for dairy herd replacements were 40%, 46% and 13%. • Seventeen percent of suckler cows were bred to early maturing sire breeds, 46% were bred to Charolais, 16% were bred to Simmental, 17% were bred to Limousin and the remaining 6% were bred to mainly other continental breed sires. The sires used on suckler herd replacements were 43% early maturing breeds, 16% Charolais, 10% Simmental, 25% Limousin and 5% other. • Based on the sire breeds used in 1998, the breed composition of the 1999 calf crop was estimated to be 24% Friesian/Holstein, 24% early maturing breeds, 24% Charolais cross, 10% Simmental cross, 12% Limousin cross and 6% other (mainly other continental crosses). • Although the proportion of continental breed crosses in the calf crop continues to increase (48% in 1993 to 52% in 1999), the use of continental sire breeds is declining in the dairy herd (from 33% in 1992 to 27% in 1998), particularly where AI is the method of breeding. However, this trend may be at an end as the 1999 AI figures to date (September 30) show substantial decreases in Hereford and Aberdeen Angus inseminations with increases in Belgian Blue, Limousin and Friesian/Holstein. • The dairy herd is a relatively unimportant source of the better quality animals accounting for only 25% of total continental breed crosses which have a lower proportion of continental breed genes than those from the suckler herd. • It was estimated that the 1999 calf crop from the suckler herd consisted of 18% early maturing breeds, 29% of half to threequarters continental breed genes and 53% containing at least three-quarters continental breed genes. • A total of 48,200 herds used bulls. The proportion of bulls of each breed used were 9% Frieisan/Holstein, 17% Hereford, 11% Aberdeen Angus, 1% Shorthorn, 29% Charolais, 12% Simmental, 16% Limousin and 5% other. Continental breeds accounted for 38% and 84% of bulls on dairy and suckler farm, respectively. • In the present study the number of animals (cows plus replacements) bred to continental sire breeds was 1.22 million of which 40% were by AI. • National AI figures show that the total number of inseminations (excluding DIY) have declined from 1.03 million in 1992 to 0.79 million in 1998. • Assuming that the suckler cow should be at least half continental breeding and that Belgian Blue crosses are unsuitable if increases in calving problems are to be avoided then the dair y herd may provide as little as 25% of suitable suckler herd replacements. Thus, the main source of replacements would be from within the suckler herd. Factors to be considered include hybrid vigour which involves crossbreeding, milk production potential of the cow and the fact that the most widely used terminal sire is Charolais. In these circumstances one suitable crossbred cow would be obtained from alternate crossing with Limousin and Simmental sires. • Heat synchronisation was used on 3% of herds. The figures for dairy and suckler herds was 6.8% and 0.5%, respectively. • Vaccination for leptospirosis was used on 29% of dairy farms and 4% of suckler farms.European Union Structural Funds (EAGGF

    A preliminary study of Dystocia in Belgain Blue x Friesian heifers and other cross breeds.

    Get PDF
    End of Project ReportCalving data were collected on 17 Belgian Blue x Friesian (BBF), 10 Limousin x Friesian (LF), 8 Simmental x Limousin x Friesians (SLF) and 4 Charolais (C) heifers. The animals were bred by artificial insemination (AI) to one Limousin bull to calve at 2 years of age. The BBF and LF were bucket reared while the SLF and C were single-suckled to 7-8 months of age. Subsequently, all animals were treated similarly. Because of the small number of C involved, information on these was excluded in breed comparisons but was included for correlations between various traits. The main findings were: • The mean liveweights at calving were 524, 521 and 583 kg for BBF, LF and SLF animals, respectively. • Measurements taken during late pregnancy showed that SLF had significantly greater wither height, pelvic height, pelvic width, cannon bone length and hind-quarter roundness than the BBF and LF which were the same. These differences tended to reflect the liveweight differences recorded. • Chest width of both the SLF and BBF was greater than for LF indicating, that despite having similar liveweights, the BBF had a wider chest than the LF. • Gestation length was longer for the SLF (294 days) than for the other two breed types (290 days). • There was no significant effect of heifer breed type on calf birth weight but when expressed as a proportion of dam liveweight, birth weights of the BBF were greater than SLF with no significant difference between the LF and the other two breed types. • Calving difficulty score was significantly higher for BBF than for SLF with LF intermediate. The incidence of caesareans was 29%, 10% and 0% for the BBF, LF and SLF, respectively. Cow internal pelvic height was greater for the SLF than for the other two breed types but there was no effect of breed type on pelvic width. Pelvic areas were 272 cm2 for BBF, 279 cm2 for LF and 285 cm2 for SLF. Those were not significantly different. • There was no significant relationship between cow liveweight or external skeletal measurements and calf birth weight. • Calf birth weight was positively related to cow internal pelvic width and pelvic area. • There was a close relationship between the birth weight of calves and calf chest girth, hind-quarter roundness and calf head circumference. • Calving difficulty score increased with increasing birth weight and particularly as birth weights expressed as a proportion of cow weight increased. • Increased hind-quarter roundness and increased chest girth of the calf were associated with increased calving difficulties. • Calving difficulty score decreased as cow size increased. All correlations between calving difficulty score and external skeletal measurements were negative but only those with withers height and pelvic height were significant.European Union Structural Funds (EAGGF

    The effect of abrupt weaning of suckler calves on the plasma concentrations of cortisol, catecholamines, leukocyte, acute-phase proteins and in vitro interferon-gamma production

    Get PDF
    End of project reportThe objective of this study was to examine the effect of abrupt weaning (inclusive of social group disruption and maternal separation) on the physiological mediators of stress and measures of immune function. Thirty-eight male and 38 female continental calves were habituated to handling for two weeks prior to bleeding. Calves were blocked on sex, weight and breed of dam and randomly assigned, within block, to either a control (cows remain with calves) or abruptly weaned group (calves removed from cows). Animals were separated into the respective treatment groups at weaning (0 h). Calves were bled at – 168 h, 6 h (males only), 24 h, 48 h and 168 h post weaning. At each sampling time an observer scored the behavioural reaction of calves to sampling. Blood samples were analysed for cortisol, catecholamine concentrations (not sampled at –168 h) and in vitro interferon-gamma production, neutrophil :lymphocyte ratio and acute phase protein concentrations. All continuous data were analysed using a split-plot ANOVA, except that collected at 6 h, which was analysed using a single factor ANOVA model. The effects of weaning, calf sex and time and respective interactions were described. Disruption of the established social groups at 0 h, increased (p<0.001) the plasma cortisol concentration and neutrophil: lymphocyte ratio and reduced the leukocyte concentration (p<0.001) and the in vitro interferon-gamma response to the mitogen concanavalin-A (p<0.001) and keyhole limpet haemocyanin (p<0.001) for weaned and control animals, when compared with –168h. Plasma adrenaline and noradrenaline concentrations were not affected by group disruption. There was no effect of weaning or sex on calf behavioural reaction to handling during blood sampling. Plasma cortisol and adrenaline concentrations were not affected by weaning or sex. Plasma noradrenaline concentration was influenced by weaning x sex (p<0.05) and time x sex (p<0.05). The response increased for male calves with weaning and increased with each sampling time post weaning. For heifers the response was not affected by weaning and plasma concentrations decreased at 168 h post weaning. There was no effect of weaning or sex on leukocyte concentration. The neutrophils : lymphocyte ration increased post weaning (p<0.01) and was affected by sex (p<0.05). Weaning decreased (p<0.05) the in vitro interferon-gamma response to the antigen KLH. There was a time x weaning x sex (p<0.05) interaction for fibrinogen concentration but no effect of treatment on haptoglobin concentration. Abrupt weaning increased plasma cortisol and nor-adrenaline concentrations, which was accompanied by attenuation of in vitro interferon gamma production to novel mitogen and antigen complexes up to 7 days post weaning.European Union Structural Funds (EAGGF

    Evaluation of supply control options for beef

    Get PDF
    End of project reportThe incomes of Irish cattle farmers benefited greatly from the reform of the CAP for beef and cereals in 1992 and more recently under Agenda 2000. In both of these reforms the institutional support prices were reduced and direct payments (DPs) were used to compensate farmers for the price reduction

    Cow serum and colostrum immunoglobulin (IgG1) concentration of five suckler cow breed types and subsequent immune status of their calves

    Get PDF
    peer-reviewedB. Murphy would like to gratefully acknowledge receipt of a Walsh Fellowship provided by Teagasc.The objective of this study was to determine the effect of cow breed type on (a) cow serum and colostrum immunoglobulin (IgG1) concentrations and (b) subsequent calf serum IgG1 concentration and zinc sulphate turbidity (ZST) units. Five cow breed types were examined: LF (Limousin × Friesian), LLF (Limousin × (Limousin × Friesian)), L (Limousin), C (Charolais) and SLF (Simmental × (Limousin × Friesian)). Three blood samples were taken by jugular venipuncture from the cows at approximately 90, 60 and 30 days pre partum, at parturition and at 15 days or more post partum and from the calves at 48 (40 to 56) h post partum. Prior to suckling a 20 ml sample of colostrum was obtained. Milk yield was estimated using the weigh-suckleweigh technique. The decrease in serum IgG1 concentration in cows between 90 days pre partum and parturition was greater (P < 0.01) for LF cows than all other breed types, except SLF. There was no difference between LLF, L, C and SLF cows. There was no effect of cow breed type on colostrum IgG1 concentration. Milk yield was higher (P < 0.001) for LF cows than all other breed types, while that of SLF was higher than the three remaining breed types, which were similar. Calf serum IgG1 concentration and ZST units were higher (P < 0.01) for the progeny of LF cows than all others except SLF. There was no difference between the progeny of LLF, L, C and SLF cows. Calf serum IgG1 was affected by cow breed type and showed a positive relationship with cow serum IgG1 decreases in late pregnancy

    Performance and feed intake of five beef suckler cow genotypes and pre-weaning growth of their progeny

    Get PDF
    peer-reviewedThe effect of beef suckler cow genotype on feed intake, performance, milk yield and on pre-weaning growth of their progeny was determined over four lactations. The five cow genotypes examined were Limousin (L), Charolais (C), Limousin × Holstein-Friesian (LF), Limousin × (Limousin × Holstein-Friesian) (LLF) and Simmental × (Limousin × Holstein-Friesian) (SLF). The herd calved in spring and the progeny spent from April until weaning (October/ November) at pasture with their dams. Live weight (kg) at the start of the indoor winter period was greater (P 0.05) between the genotypes but followed a similar trend to grass silage intake. The decrease in live weight over the indoor winter period was greater (P < 0.01) for L and C cows than for LLF and SLF, whereas LF were intermediate. The increase in live weight during the grazing season was greater (P < 0.01) for C cows than all except L, which were intermediate. Calving difficulty score was greater (P < 0.01) for C cows than LLF, L and SLF, whereas LF were intermediate. Birth weight of calves from LF cows was lower (P < 0.001) than C with L being intermediate, but greater than LLF, with SLF being intermediate. Milk yield (kg/day) was higher (P < 0.001) for LF (9.7) and SLF (8.7) cows than the other genotypes (5.5 to 7.0), which did not differ significantly. Pre-weaning live-weight gain was greater (P < 0.001) for progeny of LF cows than all other genotypes except SLF, which in turn were greater than L and C, with LLF being intermediate. In conclusion, calf pre-weaning growth was higher for cow genotypes with higher milk yield, which was also associated with higher cow DM intake.B. Murphy was in receipt of a Walsh Fellowship provided by Teagasc
    corecore