Effect of increasing pre-pubertal concentrate levels on reproductive and lactation performance of Nili-Ravi Buffalo heifers

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of increasing total nutrient supply by increasing level of concentrate supplementation in forage-based diet of growing Nili-Ravi buffalo replacement heifers on pre-pubertal growth rate and its impact on age at puberty and post-pubertal productive and reproductive performance. Twenty-eight Nili-Ravi buffalo heifers of 7 ± 1 month age were divided into 3 groups. The treatments were 3 levels of concentrate (crude protein (CP) = 17.9%, metabolisable energy (ME) = 2.66 Mcal/kg), i.e. 0.5, 1, and 1.5% of the body weight referred as low, medium, and high treatments, respectively. Irrespective of pre-pubertal treatment, all the heifers received similar feed after puberty up to completion of their first lactation. The results of the study showed a similar response across the treatments in age, weight, and condition at puberty, weight at calving, lactation length, and yield. The medium and high treatments resulted in poor reproductive performance because of higher services per conception and less number of heifers confirmed conceived compared with low treatment. The low treatment resulted in less mortality compared with medium and high treatments. The feeding cost per animal at puberty, conception, and calving was lowest for treatment low as compared with medium and high. In conclusion, the results of the study showed that Nili-Ravi buffalo heifers achieved puberty at 23 months with feeding of concentrate (CP = 17.9%, ME = 2.66 Mcal/kg) during pre-pubertal stage at the rate of 0.5% of the body weight with better reproductive performance.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Abdullah.

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The entire experiment was conducted in accordance with regulations by the ethical committee for animal welfare at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.

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Saadullah, M., Iqbal, Z.M., Naveed-ul-Haque, M. et al. Effect of increasing pre-pubertal concentrate levels on reproductive and lactation performance of Nili-Ravi Buffalo heifers. Trop Anim Health Prod (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-020-02285-8

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Keywords

  • Concentrate
  • Conception
  • Heifer
  • Nili-Ravi
  • Puberty