Summary and Implications
Data from six different calf trials were compared to 134,469 daily milk records and 37,403 body weights to determine how heifer growth traits are associated with milk yield and mature cow body weight. Animals were classified into 3 categories (low, intermediate and high) according to their body weight, hip height, growth rate and starter feed intake. Calves that were classified in the intermediate body weight category tended to produce more milk during the first ten weeks of lactation than cows classified as having low or high body weights as calves. Additionally, cows classified in the low hip height group as calves produced less milk during the first ten weeks of lactation when compared to cows classified in the intermediate or high hip height category as calves. Calves classified in either the low growth rate or the low starter feed intake group tended to be lighter as mature cows when compared to the intermediate and high classifications of their respective categories. The results suggest that calf hip height and body weight can be useful predictors of milk yield, while calf growth rate and starter feed intake can impact mature cow body weight.
Iowa State University
Beam, Denise; Stalder, Kenneth J.; Heinrichs, Arlyn J.; and Dechow, Chad D.
"Association of Calf Growth and Feed Intake Traits with Mature Cow Milk Yield and Body Weight,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 661, ASL R2967.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol661/iss1/30