Interpretive Summary: What a 31-yr multibreed herd taught us about the influence of B. indicus genetics on reproductive performance of cows
By: Thiago Martins, Cecilia C Rocha, Joseph Danny Driver, Owen Rae, Mauricio A Elzo, Raluca G Mateescu, Jose Eduardo P Santos, Mario Binelli
Cow–calf operations in the tropics and sub-tropics have benefited from the environmental adaptation provided by Bos indicus genetics. However, reproductive performance has been a cause of concern, although poorly quantified. This study characterized how much the B. indicus genetics in crossbred cows influence herd reproduction. We analyzed data from cows with known proportions of Angus and Brahman genetics, from the same crossbred herd, for 31 sequential breeding seasons. The increase in the proportion of B. indicus genetics reduced estrous response and pregnancy per artificial insemination after estrous synchronization, but not the proportion of pregnant cows at the end of the breeding season. Interval from the beginning of the breeding season to pregnancy was extended by 25 d when the proportion of B. indicus genetics surpassed 78%. In conclusion, reproductive management strategies directed specifically to cows with a greater proportion of B. indicus genetics are needed to improve the rate of pregnancy in beef herds.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.