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Milk yield estimation of Ogaden cattle breed based on methods of weigh–suckle–weigh and calves’ growth

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Abstract

Daily milk yield of Ogaden cattle was estimated from milk suckled by 269 calves born and maintained between 1994 and 2004 at Haramaya University Beef Farm, Ethiopia. The weigh–suckle–weigh method and the growth of calves were used to estimate the yield. Mean predicted daily milk yield of the breed based on the weigh–suckle–weigh method was 4.39 ± 0.03 kg day−1. Daily milk yield estimated from the growth of calves up to 3 months of age was 4.59 ± 1.43 kg day−1. The milk yield was significantly affected by seasons of calving (p < 0.001), parities of the dams (p < 0.05), weeks of lactation (p < 0.001) and birth weights of calves (p < 0.05). A relatively higher milk yield was observed from cows calved during the long rain season. A higher milk yield was produced by cows in fifth parity. Heavier calves at birth suckled more milk than lighter calves. Daily milk yield was significantly higher in 3–6 weeks of lactation. The result of this study indicated that the milk yield produced by Ogaden breed was relatively higher than the yield of some Zebu breed measured by partial suckling system in Ethiopia and was comparable to the yield from Zebu cattle in the tropics estimated by the same method.

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Abbreviations

GLM:

General linear model

LSM:

Least square means

PDMY:

Predicted daily milk yield

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Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by Haramaya University. The author wishes to express his gratitude to Professor B. P. Hegde and Dr. A. K. Sharma for their strong advisory support. Moreover, thanks are extended to Dr. Sanjoy K. Pal for editorial assistance and Mr. Merga Bayisa for keeping the record intact on the farm.

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Correspondence to Yesihak Yusuf Mummed.

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Mummed, Y.Y. Milk yield estimation of Ogaden cattle breed based on methods of weigh–suckle–weigh and calves’ growth. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 785–790 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-011-9968-0

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