Conception rates and calving intervals of different beef breeds at a farm in the semi-arid region of Namibia
- 60 Downloads
A retrospective study from 2004 to 2017 investigated the effect of bull age, cow age and breed on conception rates, and calving intervals of beef cattle at Neudamm farm, Khomas region, Namibia. Bulls ranging from 4 to 14 years of age were used to breed cows up to 17 years of age. A total of 1804 pregnancies were diagnosed in Afrikaner (81.8%), Nguni (14.1%), and Simmental (4.1%) cows. The overall conception rate of beef cattle during the study period was 71.7 ± 9.5%. The overall conception rate of the Nguni cows (78.3%) was significantly higher than that of the Afrikaner (70.9%) and the Simmental cows (64.9%) (p < 0.05). The age of sires had no effect on overall conception rate in all three breeds (p > 0.05). Afrikaner dams more than 10 years old had the least rate of conception (60.4%, p < 0.05) within that breed category. Nguni dams between four to 10 years had the greatest conception rate (86.5%, p < 0.05). Age of dams had no effect on conception rates in Simmental cattle (p > 0.05). The overall mean length of all calving intervals in the Nguni cows (366 ± 35 days) was significantly shorter than those of the Afrikaner cows (487 ± 62 days) and the Simmental cows (484 ± 110 days) (p < 0.05). The 2013 breeding season produced the highest overall conception rates (~ 85%), and the 2007 breeding season produced the lowest overall conception rate (~ 51%). From a fertility point of view, the Nguni breed seemed best suited for the semi-arid conditions which are prevalent in most of Namibia.
KeywordsConception rates Calving intervals Nguni Simmental Afrikaner Namibia
The authors would like to thank the University of Namibia’s Neudamm Campus management for availing the data which was used in this research. The authors also wish to sincerely thank the University of Namibia for funding the publication of this manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Anon, 2008. Nguni cattle [WWW Document]. Anim. Heal. Compedium. URL https://www-cabi-org.ezproxy.unam.edu.na/ahpc/datasheet/73374 (accessed 11.3.17).
- Baez, G.M., Barletta, R. V., Guenther, J.N., Gaska, J.M., Wiltbank, M.C., 2016. Effect of uterine size on fertility of lactating dairy cows. Theriogenology 85, 1357–1366. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2015.04.022 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Beukes, E.(2018). Farm manager, Neudamm farm. Personal communicationGoogle Scholar
- Bhagat, R.L., Gokhale, S.B., 2016. Studies on factors influencing conception rate in rural cattle. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 86, 550–552.Google Scholar
- Brameld, J.M., Greenwood, P.L., Bell, A.W., 2010. Biological Mechanisms of Fetal Development Relating to Postnatal Growth, Efficiency and Carcass Characteristics in Ruminants, in: Greenwood, P.L., Bell, A.W., Vercoe, P.E., Viljoen, G.J. (Eds.), Managing the Prenatal Environment to Enhance Livestock Productivity. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, New York, pp. 93–113.Google Scholar
- Buzanskas, M.E., Grossi, D. do A., Ventura, R.V., Schenkel, F.S., Chud, T.C.S., Stafuzza, N.B., Rola, L.D., Meirelles, S.L.C., Mokry, F.B., Mudadu, M. de A., Higa, R.H., da Silva, M.V.G.B., de Alencar, M.M., Regitano, L.C. de A., Munari, D.P., 2017. Candidate genes for male and female reproductive traits in Canchim beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. Biotechnol. 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40104-017-0199-8
- Corah, L., Lusby, K., 2000. Factors Influencing Conception Rate (No. BCH-2210), Beef Cattle Handbook. Madison.Google Scholar
- Cordeiro, M.B., Peres, M.S., de Souza, J.M., Gaspar, P., Barbiere, F., Sá Filho, M.F., Filho, M.M., Dinardi, R.N., Nogueira, G.P., Mesquita, F.S., Pugliesi, G., Martins, T., Binelli, M., Membrive, C.M.B., 2015. Supplementation with sunflower seed increases circulating cholesterol concentrations and potentially impacts on the pregnancy rates in Bos indicus beef cattle. Theriogenology 83, 1461–1468. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2015.01.022 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- D’Occhio, M.J., Baruselli, P.S., Campanile, G., 2018. Influence of nutrition, body condition, and metabolic status on reproduction in female beef cattle: A review. Theriogenology 125, 277–284. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.11.010 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Ducháček, J., Biniová, Z., Stádník, L., Ptáček, M., Doležalová, M., Beran, J., 2015. Effect of breed on basic characteristics of bull semen immediately after collection. Reprod. Domest. Anim. 50, 51.Google Scholar
- Grobler, S.M., Scholtz, M.M., Greyling, J.P.C., Neser, F.W.C., 2014. Reproduction performance of beef cattle mated naturally following synchronization in the Central Bushveld bioregion of South Africa. South African J. Anim. Sci. 44, S70–S74. https://doi.org/10.4314/sajas.v44i5.14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Júnior, D.R.O., Dias, E.A.R., Campanholi, S.P., Monteiro, F.M., Paz, C.C.P., Mercadante, M.E.Z., 2016. Relationship between scrotal circumference of nellore bulls and cow pregnancy rate in natural mating. Bol. Indústria Anim. 73, 319–328. https://doi.org/10.17523/bia.v73n4p319 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kamga-Waladjo, A.R., Tebug, S.F., Keambouc, T.C., Ndambid, O.A., Ndukume, J.A., Thiam, O., 2011. Factors influencing conception rates of cameroonian zebu cattle (Bos indicus) following oestrus synchronisation and artificial insemination. Anim. Heal. Prod. 59, 227–232.Google Scholar
- Mushonga, B., Chiwome, B., Kandiwa, E., 2017a. Persistent corpus luteum in a 9 year-old Afrikaner cow: a case report. Glob. Vet. 18, 146–150.Google Scholar
- Mushonga, B., Twiyizeyimna, S., Habarugira, G., Kandiwa, E., Chinyoka, S., Samkange, A., Bishi, A., 2017b. Study of incidence of gross urogenital lesions and abnormalities on does slaughtered at Nyagatare slaughterhouse, Eastern Province, Rwanda. J. Vet. Med. 2017, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7564019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nishimwe, K., Bizimana, J., Manishimwe, R., Ayabagabo, J., Byukusenge, M., Habimana, R., Bareeba, F., 2015. Factors affecting the pregnancy rate in small scale dairy farms after the artificial insemination in rural area, Rwanda. Int. J. Livest. Res. 5, 19. https://doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20150316053842 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Noseir, W.M., 2013. Disorders of the postpartum bovine uterus: A Literature Review. MRVSA Wael MB. Noseir 2, 32–42.Google Scholar
- Pagthinathan, M., Dasinaa, S., Nafees, M.S.M., Ramees, M.L.M., 2016. Effects of environmental and animal factors on conception rate at the time of insemination of Shahiwal cattle in dry zone of Sri Lanka [WWW Document]. E-Repository.Google Scholar
- Parr, M.H., Crowe, M.A., Lonergan, P., Evans, A.C.O., Fair, T., Diskin, M.G., 2015. The concurrent and carry over effects of long term changes in energy intake before insemination on pregnancy per artificial insemination in heifers. Anim. Reprod. Sci. 87–94.Google Scholar
- Perea F., Soto E., Hernández H., González D., Palomares R., De Ondiz A., González C., 2006. Monthly variation of fertility and oestrus frequency in crossbred dual-purpose cows in three agroecological areas of the South American tropics. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 38, 353–363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-006-4316-5 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Perry, G., 2005. Factors Affecting Breeding Success, in: The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIX. Rapid City, South Dakota, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
- Ramsay, J.M., 2017. Maximizing Use of an Extension Beef Cattle Data Set : Part 2 — Reproductive Rates. J. Ext. 55, 1–110.Google Scholar
- Rawat, S., Nain, A.., Roy, S., 2014. Biometeorological aspects of conception rate in cattle. J. Agrometeorol. 16, 116–120.Google Scholar
- Sanders, J., 2012. Productive Longevity in Beef Cows, in: BIF Meeting. Houston, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
- Schoeman, S.J., 1989. Recent research into the production potential of indigenous cattle with special reference to the Sanga. S. Afr. J. Anim. Sci. 19.Google Scholar
- Stangroom, J., 2018. Social Science Statistics [WWW Document]. Soc. Sci. Stat. URL http://www.socscistatistics.com/Default.aspx (accessed 11.2.17).
- Thirunavukkarasu, M., Kathiravan, G., 2009. Factors affecting conception rates in artificially inseminated bovines. Indian J. Anim. Sci. 79, 871–875.Google Scholar
- Toledo-Alvarado, H., Cecchinato, A., Bittante, G., 2017. Fertility traits of Holstein, Brown Swiss, Simmental, and Alpine Grey cows are differently affected by herd productivity and milk yield of individual cows. J. Dairy Sci. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12442
- Upadhyay, V.K., Tomar, A.K.S., Patel, B.H.M., 2015. Effect of early weaning on milking behaviour , production and reproduction of Tharparkar cows. Indian J. Dairy Sci. 68, 477–482.Google Scholar