Effects of once-daily suckling on the postpartum reproductive performance of the local beef and crossbred cattle in Malaysia

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J. A. Johari, S. Adnan, M. O. Ariff, M. I. Sukri and E. Daud

Abstract

The effects of once-daily suckling on the postpartum reproductive performance of 56 Kedah-Kelantan (KK) cattle and its crossbred cows (Brahman-KK, Hereford- KK and Friesian-KK) were studied using clinical observation and progesterone radioimmunoassay. Restricting the suckling to once-daily for 30–45 min reduced significantly (p <0.01) the interval from calving to first ovulation in KK and KK crossbred cows. The calving-to-conception interval was significantly (p <0.01) shorter in once-daily suckled cows than in normal suckled cows, and the conception rate was significantly (p <0.05) higher in the former than in the later group. The average daily gain of the calves from birth to weaning at 6 months old was 353.50 g in normal suckling group and 333.50 g in once-daily suckling group. The study showed that restricted suckling significantly improved the postpartum reproductive performance of the local beef cattle without affecting the growth performance of their calves.

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