Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article Open Access

Effect of calf birth weight on milk production of Holstein dairy cattle in desert climate

Rabie Rahbar, Rohullah Abdullahpour, Ali Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi

Downloads: 6
Views: 982


The hypothesis in this study was that calf birth weight (CBW) would effect on cow's milk production. Data were collected from two commercial dairy milking 15,000 Holsteins in central region of Iran with desert climate from 2006 to 2012. Animals were enrolled at parturition until 7,737 calvings were available for analysis. Data consisted of on-farm measurements of calf birth weight and milk production, and data were analyzed using a multivariable regression model. Independent variables were parity, herd-year-season, calving interval, calving age, retained placenta, days open, dry period length, days in milk, linear and quadratic CBW. The mean CBW was 40.84 ± 4.9 kg (SD) with a range of 20 to 60 kg. There was a trend for milk305 based on calf birth weight, i.e., the amount of milk305 of dam was significantly dependent on that weight of calf was born (P < 0.01). Cows with CBW between 20 and 25 kg had the lowest of milk production. By increasing of CBW range up to 40 and 45 kg, the trend of milk production increased and then decreasing trend observed. In conclusion, calf birth weight could be considered as an important trait in dairy cattle breeding programs in desert climate.


calf, weight, milk, Holstein, desert climate


Atashi H, Zamiri MJ, Dadpasand M (2013) Association between dry period length and lactation performance, lactation curve, calf birth weight, and dystocia in Holstein dairy cows in Iran. Journal of Dairy Science 96:3632-3638.

Bar-Peled U, Robinzon B, Maltz E, Tagari H, Folman Y, Bruckental I, Voet H, Gacitua H, Lehrer AR (1997) Increased weight gain and effects on production parameters of Holstein heifer calves that were allowed to suckle from birth to six weeks of age. Journal of Dairy Science 80:2523-2528.

Bicalho RC, Galvao KN, Cheong SH, Gilbert RO, Warnick LD, Guard CL (2007) Effect of stillbirths on dam survival and reproduction performance in Holstein dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 90:2797-2803.

Bicalho RC, Galvao KN, Warnick LD, Guard CL (2008) Stillbirth parturition reduces milk production in Holstein cows. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 84:112-120.

Boligon AA, Mercadante MEZ, Forni S, Lobo RBL, Albuquerque G (2010) Covariance functions for body weight from birth to maturity in Nellore cows. Journal of Animal Science 88:849-859.

Chew BP, Maier LC, Hillers JK, Hodgson AS (1981) Relationship between calf birth weight and dam's sub-sequent 200- and 305-day yields of milk, fat, and total solids in holsteins1. Journal of Dairy Science 64:2401-2408.

Coffey MP, Hickey J, Brotherstone S (2006) Genetic aspects of growth of Holstein-Friesian dairy cows from birth to maturity. Journal of Dairy Science 89:322-329.

Contreras VIP, Bracamonte GMP, Bustamante LAL, Medina VRM, Rincon AMS (2015) Milk composition and its relationship with weaning weight in Charolais cattle. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 44:207-212.

Dawson WM, Phillips RW, Black WH (1947) Birth weight as a criterion of selection in beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 6:247-257.

Dematawewa CM, Berger PJ (1997) Effect of dystocia on yield, fertility, and cow losses and an economic evaluation of dystocia scores for Holsteins. Journal of Dairy Science 80:754-761.

Ghoraishy SH, Rokouei M (2013) Impact of birth weight of Iranian Holstein calves on their future milk production and reproductive traits. Journal of Livestock Science and Technologies 1:39-44.

Hamed MNF, El-Moghazy MM (2015) Influence of sex and calf weight on milk yield and some chemical composition in the Egyptian buffalo's. Journal of Animal and Veterinary science 2:22-27.

ICAR (International Committee for Animal Recording) (2011) Guidelines approved by the General Assembly held in Riga on June 2010.

Section 2.1, pages 23–56, in ICAR Rules, Standars and Guidelines for Recording Milk and Milk Constituents. Accessed Mar. 8, 2013.

Johanson JM, Berger PJ (2003) Birth weight as a predictor of calving ease and perinatal mortality in Holstein cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 86:3745-3755.

Kamal MM, Van Eetvelde M, Depreester E, Hostens M, Vandaele L, Opsomer G (2014) Age at calving in heifers and level of milk production during gestation in cows are associated with the birth size of Holstein calves. Journal of Dairy Science 97:5448-5458.

Kertz AF, Reutzel LF, Barton BA, Ely RL (1997) Body weight, body condition score, and wither height of prepartum Holstein cows and birth weight and sex of calves by parity: a database and summary. Journal of Dairy Science 80:525-529.

Lamb RC, Barker BO (1975) Genetic relationship be-tween birth weight and adult weight in Holsteins. Journal of Dairy Science 58:724-728.

Linden TC, Bicalho RC, Nydam DV (2009) Calf birth weight and its association with calf and cow survivability, disease incidence, reproductive performance, and milk production. Journal of Dairy Science 92:2580–2588.

Lombard JE, Garry FB, Tomlinson SM, Garber LP (2007) Impacts of dystocia on health and survival of dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science 90:1751-1760.

Malau-Aduli AEO, Abubakar BY, Dim NI (1996) Phenotypic relationship between body weights and subsequent milk production of Friesian-Bunaji crossbreds. proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production 21:274-277.

Meijering A (1984) Dystocia and stillbirth in cattle–A review of causes, relations and implications. Livestock Production Science 11:143-177.

Meyer CL, Berger PJ, Koehler KJ, Thompson JR, Sattler CG (2001) Phenotypic trends in incidence of stillbirth for Holsteins in the United States. Journal of Dairy Science 84:515-523.

National Research Council (2001) Nutrient requirements of dairy cattle. 7th rev. ed. Washington, DC: National Academic Science.

Pabst W, Kilkenny JB, Langholz HJ (1977) Genetic and environmental factors influencing calf performance in pedigree beef cattle in Britain. 2. The relationship between birth, 200-day and 400-day weights and the heritability of weight for age. Animal Production 24:41-48.

Plasse D, Koger K (1967) A study of birth weight. Mems Assoc. Lat. Ameri. Prod. Anim. 2:7-22.

Rahanefeld GW, Weiss GM, Fredeen HT (1990) Milk yield and composition in beef cows and their effect on cow and calf performance in two environments. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 70:409-423.

SAS institu (2003) SAS user`s guide, version 9.1, SAS inst., inc., cary, NC.

Sieber M, Freeman AE, Kelley DH (1989) Effects of body measurements and weight on calf size and calving difficulty of Holsteins. Journal of Dairy Science 72:2402-2410.

Singh AR, Schalles RR, Smith WH, Kessler FB (1970) Cow weight and preweaning performance of calves. Journal of Animal Science 31:27-30.

Yaylak E, Orhan H, Daskaya A (2015) Some environmental factors affecting birth weight, weaning weight and daily live weight gain of Holstein calves. Turkish Journal of Agriculture - Food Science and Technology 3:617-622.

Submitted date:

Reviewed date:

Accepted date:

5f93327b0e8825804a485d91 jabbnet Articles
Links & Downloads

J. Anim. Behav. Biometeorol.

Share this page
Page Sections