Livestock Research for Rural Development 21 (3) 2009 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Non-genetic factors affecting growth and reproduction traits of buffaloes under dry management housing (in sub-tropical environment) in Egypt

I F M Marai*, A H Daader, A M Soliman and S M S El-Menshawy 

Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

ifmmarai@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

A trial was conducted to raise buffaloes in open sheds under routine managerial practice, in dry management housing in the sub-tropical environment of Egypt.

The  mean body weights of heifers at birth, weaning and first service, together with the high pre-weaning daily gain showed that the desert housing conditions did not exert adverse effects on their  growth. The mean calving interval (402.62.6 days) was near the ideal calving interval which permits nearly a calf every year. Total milk yield per lactation averaged 159011 kg. Such results indicated that the Egyptian buffaloes responded well to good managerial procedures. Year of  birth affected significantly (P<0.001) first service weight, average daily gain during the periods between weaning and first service and between birth and first service, days open and  lactation period. Season of birth and parity effects were significant (P<0.001, 0.01 or 0.05) on most of the traits studied. There were no important interactions between season of birth and parity on the traits studied. Strong phenotypic correlations were shown between total milk yield and lactation length (r= 0.77) and between dry period and calving interval (r=0.60). Repeatability values on lactation length, dry period, calving interval and total milk yield were 0.20.03, 0.20.04, 0.20.03 and 0.30.03, respectively. Adaptability of buffalo cows to dry management housing under desert conditions was calculated as 89.6%.

Keywords: adaptability, buffalo cows, dry management housing

Abbreviation: THI = Temperature Humidity Index


Introduction

The buffalo is a milk producing species as well as an economically important source of meat in Egypt. Recently, many livestock farms have been established under dry management housing. However, the suitability of such a practice for buffaloes was in doubt due to the assumption that buffaloes are shade and water-loving animals, adapted to living in hot and humid climates by inhabiting areas containing streams and muddy terrain.

 

The aim of the present investigation was to study the growth, reproductive and productive  traits of buffaloes raised in sheds (dry management) in newly reclaimed desert land in the sub-tropical environment of Egypt as affected by  non-genetic factors. Adaptability of the buffaloes to the new environment was also estimated.

 

Materials and methods 

The  study was carried out by the Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt. Buffaloes were reared at Khattara Provincial Buffalo Farm. The farm is located in the east desert (3060'N 32E), about 100 km north-east of Cairo, Egypt.

 

Materials

 

The buffaloes were housed in open sheds similar to those used for cattle. Maximum and minimum ambient air temperatures in the sheds during the period of the study (five years) were 21.91.1 and 9.80.4 in winter, 33.11.4 and 22.80.4 in spring, 34.25.9 and 23.80.8 in summer and 28.24.1 and 17.43.0 in autumn and relative humidity percentages were 65.11.4, 56.42.4, 66.30.8 and 58.85.0, in the same seasons, respectively.

 

Animals were kept under a regular system of feeding recommended by Animal Production Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Egypt. Feeds were offered according to the requirements of body weight, reproductive status and milk production. A concentrate mixture, green fodder [Egyptian clover (Trifolium alexandrinum) during winter and spring or Pioneer maize plants during summer and autumn], in addition to Egyptian clover hay, rice or wheat straw,  were provided.

 

Females and males were weaned at about 4.5 and 6.0 months of age, respectively. Heifers being added to the breeding stock received first service when they reached a body weight of 330 kg. Calving in Egypt is preferred to be during August, September and October months, due to the availability of green fodder (Egyptian clover) in abundance and the mild weather that prevails during the following months. Pluriparous cows were mated two months after calving. Matings were performed naturally at random under group breeding (one bull with 50 buffalo cows). Lactating animals were hand milked twice daily at 7.00 and 19.00 h. Approximately two months before the expected calving dates, buffalo cows, if they had not gone dry, were dried off.

 

All animals were healthy and clinically free of external and internal parasites and were kept, maintained and treated in adherence to accepted standards for the humane treatment of animals.

 

Methods

 

Data of body and gain weights were obtained on female calves born during two years and these of lactation records were collected on dams born during five years. Both procedures were begun at the same time. Body weights were studied on 175 buffalo female calves, from birth to first service.

 

Milk yield and related traits were studied on milking animals in the farm, during nine consecutive parities.  The number of lactations used in the study was 1419 pertaining to 732 buffalo cows. Only records of lactations that continued for at least 150 days were considered normal and were used in the analysis of milk production traits, while those lasting for a period less than 150 days and/or those of cows affected by mastitis or other udder disorders, as well as those of doubtful information, were excluded.

 

The temperature-humidity index (THI) was estimated (during the five years of collecting the data) according to Marai et al (2000) using the following formula:
 

THI= dbC - {(0.31 - 0.31 RH) (dbC - 14.4)},


where dbC = dry bulb temperature in Celsius and RH = RH% / 100. The  values obtained were classified as follows: < 22.2 = absence of heat stress, 22.2 to < 23.3 = moderate heat stress, 23.3 to < 25.6 = severe heat stress and 25.6 and above = very severe heat stress (Marai et al. 2000).

"Adaptability" was estimated according to Marai et al (2006) as follows:
 

"Adaptability" to the climatic conditions = 100 - the mean relative deviations in all the traits studied.

 

The mean relative deviations in all the traits were calculated by dividing mean of deviations in all the traits studied due to heat stress (regardless  minus or plus signs) relatively to the mean of all the same traits under normal (mild) conditions. The relative deviation in each trait was estimated as: [the difference in the values of the trait in the hot and mild conditions (normal; control) divided by the value of the same trait in the mild conditions] x 100.

 

Statistical analysis

 

Data were analyzed using the least squares and maximum likelihood described by Harvey (1987). Traits and mixed and fixed models used in the analysis are presented in Tables 1 and 2.


Table 1.  Traits included in each model used in the analysis of data

Traits

Models

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Birth weight

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weaning weight

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st service weight

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily gain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Birth-weaning

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Weaning-1st service

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Birth-1st  service

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Age at  1st calving

 

 

 

 

x

x

 

Days open

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

Dry period

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

Lactation length

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

Calving interval

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

Total milk yield

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly milk yield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   1st up 10th  month

 

 

 

 

 

 

x



Table 2.  Models and Model components involved in each model used in the analysis of data

Effects

Models

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Cow

 

x

x

 

 

 

 

Fixed

Year of  birth

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year of  weaning

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

Year of 1st service

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

Year of calving

 

x

x

x

 

 

x

Season of  birth

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season of weaning

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

Season of service

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

Season of calving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Cubic

 

x

x

 

 

x

            Quintic            

 

x

 x

 

 

 

Parity

x

 

x

x

 

 

x

        Cubic

 

x

x

 

 

 

x

Sex of calf

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

Year x season  of birth

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year  x parity of  birth                

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lactation period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Days open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Quintic)              

Age at calving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Quintic)              

On dry period (Quadratic)

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

On weaning weight (Quadratic)

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

On weaning age (Quadratic)

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

On service weight (Quadratic)

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

On service age (Quadratic)

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

On absolute gain  (Quadratic)

 

 

 

 

 

x

 


Distribution of records in classes according to various fixed effects are presented in Table 3.


Table 3.  Distribution of records in classes according to various fixed effects

Effects

No of classes

Classes

Year of birth

2

1st, 2nd

Year of weaning

2

1st, 2nd

Year of service

2

1st, 2nd

Year of calving

5

1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

Season of birth

4

1, 2, 3, 4

Season of weaning

4

1, 2, 3, 4

Season of service

4

1, 2, 3, 4

Season of calving

4

1, 2, 3, 4

Parity of birth

6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Parity

9

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Sex of calf

2

Male, Female

Lactation period

20

45, 60, 75, 90……….., 300, 315, 330

Age at calving

35

27, 30, 33……….., 123, 126, 129

Parity

7

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Age 1st  parity

4

27, 30, 33, 36

        2nd  parity

5

39, 42, 45, 48, 51

        3rd parity

5

54, 57 60, 63, 66

        4th parity 

4

69, 72, 75, 78

        5th parity

4

81, 84, 87, 90

        6th parity 

6

93, 96, 99, 102, 105, 108

         7th parity

6

111, 114, 117, 120, 123, 126


Estimate of repeatability or intra class correlation (t) was calculated as follows:

t = 62c / (62c +62e),

where 62c and 62e are the variance components of cow and remainder, respectively. The standard errors of repeatability estimates were obtained by computer program PC-1 version (Harvey 1987).


Results

Only the main factors are reported, since no important interactions between season and parity were detected for any of the traits studied.

 

Performance of cow traits in dry management housing in sub-tropical conditions

           

Growth

 

Mean body weights of buffalo heifers were 42.00.5, 134.80.4 and 371.22.0 kg at birth, weaning and first service, respectively (Tables 4 and 5).


Table  4.  Actual means  ( S.E) and coefficients of variation  (CV%) of buffalo cow traits, under  dry management housing

Traits

No. of observations

Mean

C.V%

Birth weight, kg

175

42.00.5

15.1

Weaning weight, kg

175

134.80.4

4.3

Weight at first service, kg

175

371.22.0

7.0

Average daily  gain, kg

Birth – weaning

175

0.6670.01

18.9

Weaning - first service

175

0.5870.01

17.8

Birth - first service

175

0.6100.01

12.9

Age at first calving,  months

175

25.10.7

37.8

Days open, days

1419

91.81.3

52.1

Lactation length, days

1344

244.11.2

18.6

Dry period, days

1170

148.72.0

45.2

Calving interval, days

1170

402.62.6

15.6

Total milk yield, kg

1344

1590.011.0

26.5



Table 5.  Least squares means (S.E) of factors affecting birth, weaning and first service weights of Egyptian buffalo heifers, as affected by some non-genetic factors

Effects

No of
observations

Birth weight,

kg

Weaning weight,

kg

Weight at first service,

kg

Overall means

175

42.00.5

134.80.4

371.22.0

Year of birth

 

 

 

 

First year

42

42.91.2

135.01.1

349b.04. 8

Second year

133

42.70.7

134.40.6

373a.32.7

Significance

 

NS

NS

***

Season of birth

 

 

 

 

Winter

40

45.6 a 1.2

134.2 1.1

363.8 a 4.8

Spring

14

43.4 a 2.0

133.3 1.9

343.7 b 8.2

Summer

64

39.0 b 0.8

136.4 0.8

368.5 a 3.3

Autumn

57

43.0 a 0.9

134.9 0.8

368.4 a 3.6

Significance

 

***

NS

*

Parity of dam

 

 

 

 

1st

29

41.0 1.2

135.8 1.1

367.1 4.8

2nd

28

43.1 1.3

135.2 1.3

363.4 5.5

3rd

23

45.3 1.5

133.7 1.4

359.3 6.2

4th

30

44.6 1.4

133.5 1.3

365.6 5.7

5th

36

42.9 1.7

135.3 1.6

360.2 6.9

6th

29

39.7 1.9

134.4 1.5

351.1 6.5

Significance

 

NS

NS

NS

Means bearing different superscripts within the same class differ significantly at P < 0.05,
* P
< 0.05, *** P <  0.001, NS = Not significant


Averages of daily weight gain were 0.6670.01, 0.5870.01 and 0.6100.01 kg between birth and weaning, weaning and first service and birth and first service, respectively (Tables 4 and 6).


Table 6.  Least squares means (S.E.) of factors affecting daily gain weight of Egyptian buffalo heifers, as affected by some non-genetic factors

Factors affecting

No of observations

Birth – weaning,

kg

Weaning – 1st service, kg

Birth – 1st service,

kg

Overall means

175

0.6670.01

0.5870.01

0.6100.01

Year of birth

First year

42

0.7060.02

0.442b 0.02

0.537b 0.01

Second year

133

0.6740.01

0.616a 0.01

0.636a 0.01

Significance

 

NS

***

***

Season of birth        

Winter

40

0.672b0.02

0.487b 0.02

0.5680.01

Spring

14

0.773a 0.04

0.489b0.03

0.5890.02

Summer

64

0.645 c 0.02

0.581a 0.01

0.5920.01

Autumn

57

0.671b 0.02

0.560a 0.01

0.5970.01

Significance

 

*

***

NS

Parity of dam

1st

29

0.708b 0.02

0.527 0.02

0.584b0.01

2nd

28

0.726a0..03

0.5250.02

0.578b0.02

3rd

23

0.590c 0.03

0519 0.02

0.556c0.02

4th

30

0.696b 0.03

0.5330.02

0.588b0.02

5th

36

0.693b 0.03

0.5110.02

0.567bc0.02

6th

29

0.730a 0.03

0.5600.02

0.647a0.02

Significance

 

*

NS

***

Means bearing different superscripts within the same class differ significantly at P < 0.05, * P < 0.05, *** P <  0.001, NS = Not significant


Reproductive traits

 

Age at first calving averaged 25.10.7 months (Table 4). Frequency distribution of the heifers according to their age at first calving showed that 70.3% calved when they were 25 to 28 months of age, 26.3% at younger (21 to 23 months) and 3.4% at an older age (29 months). Averages of days open, lactation length, dry period and calving interval were 91.81.3 days, 244.11.2 days, 148.72.0 days and 402.62.6 days, respectively (Tables 4 and 7). Total milk yield per lactation averaged 159011 kg.


Table 7. Least squares means ( S.E.) of factors affecting days open, dry period and calving interval, of Egyptian buffalo heifers as affected by some non-genetic factors

Classification

Number

of obs.

Days open, days

Number

of obs.

Dry period, days

Number

of obs.

Calving interval, days

Overall means

1419

91.81.3

1170

148.72.0

1170

402.62.6

Year of calving

1st

66

97.9a6.7

55

146.317.2

55

381.415.0

2nd

234

102.0a4.1

191

136.29.3

191

383.28.2

3rd

398

92.4a 3.1

337

141.45.1

337

385.44.6

4th

537

90.8a2.8

442

150.18.2

442

395.3 7.3

5th

184

63.8b 4.2

145

158.2 15.7

145

391.113.7

Significance

 

***

 

NS

 

NS

Season of birth

Winter

341

92.8b5.2

282

156.3 11.5

282

394.7b 10.1

Spring

192

99.9a 6.5

159

150.7 13.8

159

400.7a12.3

Summer

468

83.7c 4.6

378

138.3 10.6

378

382.7c9.5

Autumn

418

81.0c 4.6

351

139.7 10.6

351

370.3d9.3

Significance

 

***

 

NS

 

**

Parity

1st

359

114.2a3.1

247

209.0a27.1

247

479.1a 23.6

2nd

262

102.6ab3.4

219

154.2 b19.8

219

428.3b17.2

3rd

204

90.0b 3.6

186

137.3c12.8

186

400.0c11.2

4th

189

84.1b 3.8

164

130.1c7.5a

164

377.2d 6.7

5th

175

87.1b 4.0

145

122.4c 7.9

145

364.4d 7.0

6th

156

85.6b 4.2

136

122.2c 13.1

136

351.1de11.4

7th

59

83.7b 6.6

58

135.3c 21.o

58

345.0e18.3

8th

15

67.6c 12.6

15

160.1b32.6

15

353.2de28.3

Significance

 

***

 

***

 

**

Means bearing different superscripts within the same class, differ significantly (P > 0.05).
***P
> 0.001, **P < 0.01, NS = Not Significant and obs. = observations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Effects of non-genetic factors

 

Temperature-humidity index (THI) calculated for maximum temperature during winter was 21.1,  ranged between 21.6 and 30.6 during spring, 22.8 and 32.1 during summer and 17.0 and 26.4 during autumn, indicating absence of heat stress during winter and exposure to very severe heat stress during the other seasons, with the highest Temperature Humidity Index value during summer.

 

Season of birth affected birth weight (P<0.001), weight at first service (P<0.05) and average daily gain from birth to weaning (P<0.05) and from weaning to first service (P<0.001) (Tables 5 and 6). Birth weight was the heaviest in winter, spring and autumn and the lightest in summer. Weight at first service was the heaviest in winter, and the lightest in spring (Table 5). Daily weight gain between birth and weaning was the highest in spring and the lowest in summer, and gain in weight between weaning and first service was the highest in summer and autumn and the lowest in spring and winter births (Table 6). Days open, calving interval and lactation length were affected (P<0.001 or 0.01) by season of birth (Tables 7 and 8).


Table 8.  Least squares means ( S.E.) of factors affecting total milk yield and lactation length, length of Egyptian buffalo heifers as affected by some non-genetic factors

Effect

Number of Observations

Total milk yield, kg

Lactation length, Days

Overall means

1344

1590.011.0

244.11.2

Year of calving

 

 

 

1st

63

1564.3b 93.2

274.210.5

2nd

240

1504.0c50.3

271.45.5

3rd

424

1598.3a 30.0

261.03.1

4th

472

1565.2b 46.4

236.35.0

5th

154

1597.0a85.1

239.19.6

Significance

 

***

NS

Season of calving

Winter

.337

1580.3 58.7

265.7a6.6

Spring

216

1609.3 65.3

264.7a7.3

Summer

426

1541.3 51.7

240.7b5.7

Autumn

365

1531.7 56.7

253.3ab6.3

Significance

 

NS

***

Parity of dam

 

 

 

1st

169

1488.4e167

229.3c19.0

2nd

251

1687.2a123

244.3bc14.0

3rd

219

1598.0c87.4

247.2b9.9

4th

186

1653.3b55.5

248.4b6.2

5th

165

1611.0c39.5

249.2b4.3

6th

145

1565.2d57.5

252.4b6.4

7th

136

1599.4 c88.9

269.2b10.1

8th

58

1354.4e130.9

260. 0b14.9

9th

15

1538.3d192.6

304.1a21.9

Significance

 

***

***

Means bearing different superscripts within the same class, , differ significantly (P>0.05).***P> 0.001 and NS = Not significant


The lowest length of each of days open and calving interval was during summer and autumn and that of lactation length was in summer calvers (Tables 7 and 8). The peak of milk production was reached in the fourth and fifth parities (Table 8).

 

Parity effects were significant on growth traits. These traits were daily weight gain from birth to weaning (P<0.05) and from birth to first service (P<0.01).  Similar effects were detected on reproductive traits. These traits were  days open (P<0.001), lactation length (P<0.001), dry period (P<0.001), calving interval (P<0.001 and total milk yield (P<0.001) (Tables 6, 7 and 8). In general, days open, dry period and calving interval decreased, while lactation length increased with advancement of parity (Tables 7 and 8).

 

Strong phenotypic correlations were observed between total milk yield and lactation length (r= 0.77) and between dry period and calving interval (r= 0.60)."

 

Repeatability

 

Repeatability estimates were 0.30.03, 0.20.03, 0.20.04 and 0.20.04 for milk yield, lactation length, dry period and calving interval, respectively.

           

Discussion 

Performance of cow traits in dry management housing in sub-tropical conditions

 

Growth

 

The preference for calving during August, September and October months in the present study, is in accordance with the traditional practice followed in Egypt. Availability of green fodder (Egyptian clover) is in abundance and the mild weather that prevails during the following months, were the reasons for following such practice. Most of the performance traits studied showed more favorable trends than those commonly known up till now, although these buffalo cows were raised in dry management housing in newly reclaimed desert land.

 

The average body weights at birth, weaning and first service were higher than that recorded in the Nile Valley (Tantawy 1984) or under similar newly reclaimed desert conditions (Mohamed 2000). The high average weights, together with the higher pre-weaning daily gain than that reported by Mohamed (2000) indicated that the desert conditions did not exert adverse effects on the growth of calves.

 

Reproductive traits

 

Age at first calving (25.10.7 months) was lower than that reported for the same species by Zeidan (1990) in the Nile Valley and by Misra et al. (1986) in Indian buffaloes (38.0, 48.7 months, respectively). At the same time, it was very close to the values estimated for Friesian heifers by Moharram (1988) (25.7 months). The low age at first calving suggested that raising buffalo heifers under adequate managerial conditions resulted in early onset of puberty and consequently an early age at first calving. From another  point of view, this phenomenon is probably due to that buffaloes are characterized by big  conformation and heavy bones (compared to local cattle) and it is known with a noticeable quick natural increase in its size when reaching puberty phase.

 

Length of days open (91.81.3 days) was much lower than that recorded by Roy Choudhury (1971) in Italian buffaloes (range 97-316 days), El-Wishy (1979) in Iraqi buffaloes, Govindaiah and Rai (1987) in Indian buffaloes and Eid (1988) in Egyptian buffaloes. Such phenomenon may be attributed to serving the cows at the suitable time, in addition to the adequate plane of nutrition offered in the present study.

 

Lactation length (244.11.2 days) was longer than the value recorded by Zaki (1988) (195 days), but shorter than that reported by Zeidan (1990) (286 days) and by Mohamed (2000) (269.8 days), in Egyptian buffaloes.

 

Dry period (148.72.0 days) was lower than that recorded by Mourad (1978) (248 days), Mohamed (2000) (194.5 days) in Egyptian buffaloes and by Siddiquee et al (1984) in Indian buffaloes.

 

The average length of calving interval (402.62.6 days) was very near to the ideal calving interval that permits nearly a calf each year. This indicated that Egyptian buffaloes responded well to good managerial procedures. Mohamed (2000) reported the calving interval of 464.3 days, under newly reclaimed desert .

 

The average total milk yield per lactation (159011 kg) was higher than that recorded by Mohamed (2000) under similar newly reclaimed desert conditions (1171 kg).  The peak of milk production was reached in the fourth and fifth parities similar to that reported by El-Menshawy (1994).

           

Effects of non-genetic factors

 

Effect of season of birth

 

The effect of season of birth on birth weight in the present study was similar to the results of Eid (1988) and Zaki (1988) who reported that the heaviest calf weights at birth were produced by either spring or winter calvers. The lowest birth weight and average daily gain  between birth and weaning of summer-born calves may be attributed to suffering of the foetei from the adverse effects resulting from exposure of their dams during late pregnancy to moderate to very severe heat stress (THI= 22.8 to 32.8 during summer).

 

The significant effects of season of calving on days open, calving interval and lactation length were similar to that reported by Alim and Taher (1979). The lowest estimates shown in days open and calving interval during autumn and in lactation length during summer, were similar to that reported by El-Khaschab et al (1984).

 

The non-significantly high milk yield produced by spring calvers (1609 kg) was different from that found by by Ayyat et al. (1996) who reported that spring calvers had significantly higher (P<0.001) actual milk yield and longer lactation length. The non-significant difference in total milk yield due to season of calving in the present study may be an evidence of the availability of adequate managerial conditions all the year round.

 

The unfavorable effects on the studied traits during summer may be due to the exposure to heat stress that evokes a series of drastic changes in the biological functions. Such changes result in depression of live body weight, growth rate and total body solids and daily body solids gain weight averages and impairment of production and reproduction (Marai and Habeeb 1998, Marai et al 2007).

 

Effect of parity

 

The significant effect of parity on days open was similar to the findings of Mostageer et al (1981) and different from those of Mohamed (1974). The tendency of the length of days open to decrease from the first parity onwards may be a result  of culling buffaloes with lower fertility.

 

The decrease in calving interval with advancement of parity was similar to that reported by Mourad (1978). Such a trend may be a reflection of the same practice of culling buffalo cows that show lower fertility in their early parities. The highly significant effect (P<0.001) of parity on calving interval in buffaloes was similar to that reported by El-Menshawy (1994) in Egyptian buffaloes.

 

Repeatability

 

Repeatability estimated for milk yield (0.30.03) was higher than that obtained (0.22) by Soliman (1976) and was lower than the values estimated (more than 0.36) for Egyptian buffaloes (Zeidan 1990, Khalil 1993), as well as for the Murrah buffaloes (0.39) (Singh and Singh 1977). Therefore, selection could be practiced for such traits after the end of the first lactation. Due to low repeatability values of the other traits, culling of buffalo cows for these traits should be practiced according to several records, along with improvement of the environmental conditions.

           

Adaptability

 

Buffalo’s adaptability to the desert sub-tropical environment of Egypt was estimated as 89.6% according to Marai and Habeeb (1998) and Marai et al (2006). Application of the same method (Marai et al 2006) on the lactating buffaloes data of El-Masry and Marai (1991) confirmed these results in which the adaptability = 89.1%. Adaptability estimation for Friesian cows on the same bases in the same work (El-Masry and Marai, 1991) indicated that it was 82.9%.


Conclusions


References

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Received 28 January 2008; Accepted 15 April 2008; Published 10 March 2009

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