Calf mortality is a very important topic for cattle producers, who depend on the annual production of progeny from productive cows to make a profit. The long gestation period (approximately nine months) of cattle makes this exceptionally true. Losing a calf is therefore very costly, especially considering the fact that cattle are not prolific breeders. Several factors (for example fetal presentation, uterine environment, and hormonal control) doe influence calf mortality. This research however investigates the effect of breed, birth weight and year period on caJf mortality. Records from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike research farm over a 5-year period (1999 - 2003) were used. The data obtained was subjected to descriptive analysis. The breeds present in the farm over the specified period N'dama, Muturu and White Fulani breeds. From the resuJts, the Muturu breed had the highest mortality rate 33.3%, while the White Fulani had a mortality rate of 23.5%. Also, animals with higher birth weights had lower mortality rates than those with lower birth weights. Most of the White Fulani, however, had birth weights that fell within the higher weight classes of the weight classes created for this experiment, which strongly suggests birth weight as a strong factor affecting calf mortality rates in cattle, as the Muturu breed is more acclimatized to the south-eastern part of the country and should survive better. Calf mortalities were high during the dry season with the highest rate being 33.3% in the month of September. However, throughout the five-year period, not a single mortality was recorded from the month of March through August, which suggests that the effect of the year period on the availability of good quality forage had an effect on the nutrition of the dams and calves, which in turn had a consistent corresponding effect on the survivability of the calves during each year, over the five-year period. It is suggested that good management practices be adhered to, in order to counter the effect of unavailability of forage during the dry season, and the same thing should be done for dams in order to ensure birth weights fall within the 16-20kg weight range, which the results showed had the lowest mortality rates. It is also noted that good management will reduce the chances of the occurrence of other factors that result in calf mortality, and thus generally counter the current high calf mortality trends observed in cattle farms.
IRIMACHA, S (2023). The Effect Of Breed, Birth Weight And Year Period On Calf Mortality Rates. Repository.mouau.edu.ng: Retrieved Dec 08, 2023, from https://repository.mouau.edu.ng/work/view/the-effect-of-breed-birth-weight-and-year-period-on-calf-mortality-rates-7-2
SCOTT, IRIMACHA. "The Effect Of Breed, Birth Weight And Year Period On Calf Mortality Rates" Repository.mouau.edu.ng. Repository.mouau.edu.ng, 18 Jul. 2023, https://repository.mouau.edu.ng/work/view/the-effect-of-breed-birth-weight-and-year-period-on-calf-mortality-rates-7-2. Accessed 08 Dec. 2023.
SCOTT, IRIMACHA. "The Effect Of Breed, Birth Weight And Year Period On Calf Mortality Rates". Repository.mouau.edu.ng, Repository.mouau.edu.ng, 18 Jul. 2023. Web. 08 Dec. 2023. < https://repository.mouau.edu.ng/work/view/the-effect-of-breed-birth-weight-and-year-period-on-calf-mortality-rates-7-2 >.
SCOTT, IRIMACHA. "The Effect Of Breed, Birth Weight And Year Period On Calf Mortality Rates" Repository.mouau.edu.ng (2023). Accessed 08 Dec. 2023. https://repository.mouau.edu.ng/work/view/the-effect-of-breed-birth-weight-and-year-period-on-calf-mortality-rates-7-2