Influence of non-genetic factors on growth traits of Horro (Zebu) and their crosses with Holstein Friesian and Jersey cattle

Full Length Research Paper 

Influence of non-genetic factors on growth traits of Horro (Zebu) and their crosses with Holstein Friesian and Jersey cattle 

Habtamu Abera, Solomon Abegaz and Yoseph Mekasha 

1Bako Agricultural Research Center, P. O. Box 03 Bako, Ethiopia.

2Institute of Biodiversity, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

3Haramaya University P. O. Box 138 Dire Dewa, Ethiopia.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: hmaassee@gmail.com 

Abstract 

The present study was carried out to determine non-genetics effects on the growth performance (birth, weaning, one year weight and weight gains) of Horro cattle and their crosses (Friesian-Horro (FH) and Jersey-Horro (JH)) at Bako Agricultural Research center. The data used in the study included weight records of animals born between 1980 and 2008. Least squares means were analyzed using General Linear Model (GLM) of Statistical Analyses System (SAS). Apart from Breed effects, sex, year of birth and parity were the main non genetic effects that influenced birth weight (BW), weaning weight (WW), one year weight (YW), pre-weaning average daily gain (DG) and post-weaning average daily gain (PDG). The overall mean of birth, weaning and one year weight and pre-weaning and post-weaning average daily gains of Horro and their crosses were 19.6±0.16 kg, 43.8 ±8.5 kg and 84.8±21 kg, 407.4±20.6 g and 263.7±54.3 g, respectively. The least squares means birth weight, weaning weight and one year were: 18.34±0.14 kg, 39.8±0.39 kg and 70.5±1.14 kg for Horro, 22.13±0.14 kg, 47.5±0.38 kg and 94.7±1.14 kg for Friesian-Horro and 19.1±0.19 kg, 42.9±0.5and kg, 85.5±1.5 kg for Jersey-Horro breeds, respectively. From the results suggests that birth weight of the calves doesn’t affect the weaning weight and the subsequence growth performance. This could point to an opportunity for much improved weaning and one year weight by improving the management practices of calves. The higher growth performance observed for the crossbred calves in comparison with the purebred Horro (Bos indicus) cattle. 

Key words: Crosses, fixed, growth, Horro, non genetic, traits.