EFFECT OF FENCE-LINE WEANING ON EGYPTIAN BUFFALOES' MILK PRODUCTION AND GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF THEIR CALVES

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Tamer Mosaad Hassan
Mayada S. H. Mahmoud
A. S. M. Soliman
M. R. El-Mahdy
Hoda Z. Hassan

Abstract

The objective of the current study was to reduce the stress associated with weaning process for a mother and its weaned calf by increasing the productive performance of the mother and reproductive performance (early return to estrous and conception), increasing the growth rate and some body measurements of calves post-weaning, as well as improving the immunological responses of both mother and calf.  Egyptian buffaloes and their calves used in this study (n = 40) were divided into two weaning system groups: 20 buffaloes in fence-line and 20 buffaloes in traditional weaning system. Buffaloes and their calves were placed on opposite sides of strong fence. They had nose-to-nose contact; fence-line visits gradually decreased after the first three days. Milk production and its components were measured. Blood samples were taken for analyzing weekly after calving until 8th week. As a result, regression coefficients of the equation of Wood lactation curve showed that weaning system had different (P < 0.001) a, b and c parameters. Buffaloes with fence-line weaning had the highest (P < 0.001) milk production and milk component values during 8 months of lactation. Fence-line weaning calves had superior (P < 0.001) performance than traditional weaning calves. Immunoglobulin content (immunity) was increased in buffaloes and their calves weaned using the fence-line system. Calves' sex and dams parity effects showed the normal expression. In conclusion, the fence-line system can provide to gain more milk yield, calf growth performance and immunity, and therefore, we recommend this system for buffalo's producers.

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References

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