FACTORS INFLUENCING THE GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF CALVES FROM TERMINAL CROSSES OF THREE LOCAL BREEDS WITH SOME IMPORTED BREEDS IN THE WESTERN HIGHLANDS OF CAMEROON

Youchahou Poutougnigni Matenchi, Keambou Tiambo Vhtistian, Manjeli Yacouba

Abstract


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of factors influencing growth performances (live weight and average daily weight gain) of 374 calves from terminal crossing between indigenous breeds (Gudali, White Fulani and Banyo) and three exotic breeds (Brahman, Brangus and Holstein). Data have been collected from 1993 to 2008 at the Agricultural Research Institute for Development (IRAD)-Bambui station western highlands of Cameroon. Growth performances were significantly influenced by several factors under study. Hence, pre-and post-weaning live weight and average daily gain (ADG) were significantly influenced by all the factors, excepted   age and breed of dam, age and breed of sire for post weaning performance. Sex x breed interaction was significant at 90 days while season x breed interaction influenced all pre-weaning traits. Live weight varied according to season, month and year of calving. Calves born in the dry season were heavier than those born in the rainy season by 5.38% and 6.03% at weaning and 720 days respectively. Crossbred calves generally performed better than local breed for all traits considered. Male calves outperformed female by 5.48%, 5.19% and 12.66% at birth, weaning (205 days), and 720 days respectively. Middle-aged parents were found to account for heavier calves at both birth weight and final weight while very young and very old parents produced lighter calves for all growth parameters studied. ADG also showed the same tendency as live weight and varied with all the factors under study. The improvement of husbandry system may permit the calves to better express their growth potential in the western highlands of Cameroon


Keywords


Growth Performance; Terminal Crosses; Local Breeds; Western Highlands Cameroon

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