Upgrading local cattle in tropical west Africa: Metabolic hormone concentrations during the post-partum period in Sanga and Friesian-Sanga crossbred cows

F.Y. Obese, Graeme Martin, Margaret Blackberry, M. Ayim-Akonor, Y. Gomda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Cattle farmers in Ghana want larger animals with better milk yield and have therefore focused on improving the indigenous tropical Sanga breed by crossing with the temperate Friesian breed. However, in the Friesian-Sanga crossbred, a major limitation to reproductive performance is extended postpartum anoestrus, perhaps exacerbated by under-nutrition under field conditions. We therefore tested whether the breeds vary in the circulating concentrations of metabolic hormones that mediate the effects of nutrition on the reproductive axis during the postpartum period. Two herds comprising 16 Sanga, and 16 Friesian-Sanga cows, were grazed separately on natural pastures of similar nutritive value with no feed supplements. Every week during weeks 1 to 10 postpartum, the cows were weighed, body condition score (BCS) was assessed, and blood was sampled. Resumption of ovarian activity, detected from progesterone profiles, was used to classify cows as 'early-cycling' (≤45 days), 'late-cycling' (46-70 days) or 'non-cycling' (after 70 days). Resumption of ovarian cyclicity, body weight and body condition score did not differ between breeds, but daily milk yield was lower for Sanga (1.01±0.02. kg/day) than for Friesian-Sanga crossbreds (1.57±0.02. kg/day; P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
JournalLivestock Science
Volume171
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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