Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry 2011 Volume 27, Issue 3, Pages: 1033-1041
doi:10.2298/BAH1103033N
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Production potential of first calving Simmental heifers in Serbia

Nikšić D., Ostojić-Andrić D., Pantelić V., Perišić P., Novaković Ž., Aleksić S., Lazarević M.

Cattle production in Serbia, and especially milk production, contributes significantly to the value of total agricultural production (20%) and livestock production (45%). Achieved annual rate of milk yield increase of approx.100 kg per cow cannot adequately compensate for drastic decrease of number of dairy cattle which dropped by fifth over last decade. This is especially important from the aspect of assessment of future production quotas for milk as part of Serbia’s preparation for EU accession. From the aspect of the genetic potential of dairy cattle, the most significant measure aimed at increase of milk performance in future will be execution of systematic selection-breeding work in the main population. Special attention should be directed in future to selection of parents of dairy herd, criteria for selection of heifers and their adequate rearing in sense of nutrition and housing. For the purpose of establishing of production potential of first calving Simmental cows in Serbia, data was analyzed for 37.171 Simmental cows with completed lactations in the period 2007 to 2010. Research results showed moderate trend of increase in milk performance in first calving cows - average milk production of 4.348 kg, milk fat content of 3.93% and milk fat yield of 171.1 kg. Milk performance of first calving cows in average was lower by 147 kg compared to cows in other lactations and by 1.169 kg compared to bull dams in the observed period. In analysis of bulls - most common sires of studied first-calvers, it was established that eight of ten bull sires had negative values for milk yield, which indicated the need for better cooperation and organization in work of all services which are included in selection-breeding activities in dairy cattle breeding.

Keywords: Simmental breed, first calving cows, milk, milk fat

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