Suckling behaviour and fertility in beef cows on pasture. 2. Influence of twelve-hour calf separation on interval to first oestr

Author: I.B. Stewart, B.P. Louw and A.W. Lishman
Year: 1993
Issue: 5
Volume: 23
Page: 180 - 182

For two weeks prior to the start of the breeding season, the suckling behaviour of beef calves, separated from their dams for 12 h out of 24, was investigated. Fifty-six per cent of the 44 cows which were separated from their calves from 18:00 to 06:00 (day-sucklers) exhibited oestrus within 30 days of the start of the breeding season, compared to 22% of the group separated from 06:00 to 18:00 (P <0.01). It was concluded that not only the suppression of suckling may be involved in the onset of ovarian activity. The specific time period during the 24 h when suckling is prohibited may also play a role.


Keywords: oestrus, ovarian activity, separation, suckling
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