31-Title: Non genetic factors affecting gestation length and birth weight in Kankrej cattle

Authors: AK Srivastava, JB Patel, KJ Ankuya, HD Chauhan, AP Chaudhary, JK Patel and JP Gupta

Source: Ruminant Science (2020)-9(1):151-154.


How to cite this manuscript: Srivastava AK, Patel JB, Ankuya KJ, Chauhan HD, Chaudhary AP, Patel JK and Gupta JP (2020). Non genetic factors affecting gestation length and birth weight in Kankrej cattle. Ruminant Science 9(1):151-154.


Present study was conducted on 233 records of calving of Kankrej cows maintained at Livestock Research Station of the institute to analyze the effects of non-genetic factors on gestation length (GL) and calf birth weight (BW). The least squares mean with the standard error of gestation length and calf birth weight were 287.020±0.946 days and 21.343 ±0.378 kg. Parity and twinning have a significant effect (P<0.05) on gestation length. Heifers (287.7±1.21) and second parity cows (287.8±1.2) had significantly (P<0.05) shorter gestation lengths (285.5±0.9 day) compared to the third or more parity group cows. The mean gestation length of twin calves was 285.3±1.8 days and was significantly (P<0.05) 3.4 days shorter than the single births. The mean birth weight of calves was 21.343±0.378 kg. Effect of parity, sex of calf and time of calving were not significant on birth weight of the calf. Mean birth weight of twin calves had significantly (P<0.01) lower birth weight by an average of 1.73 kg than single births calves. The ratio of overall males was 11.58% higher than the females. The birth weight of male calf was 21.633±0.390 kg and it was on an average 0.579 kg higher than the females and difference was not significant. The gestation length of the male calf was 0.936 days higher than the females. More calvings were observed during the day (54.51%) than the night period but the difference was not significant. It is concluded that in Kankrej cows the primiparous have longer gestation period than the multiparous cows; twinning reduces the birth weight of calf.  


Bleul U (2008) Influence of breed on gestation length and birth in cattle. Tieraerztliche Praxis Ausgabe Grosstiere Nutztiere 36:171-178.

Crews JDH (2006). Age of dam and sex of calf adjustments and genetic parameters for gestation length in Charolais cattle. Journal of Animal Science 84(1):25-31.

Dufty JH (1971). Determination of the onset of parturition in Hereford cattle. Australian Veterinary Journal 47:77-82.

Echternkamp SE and Gregory KE (1999). Effects of twinning on gestation length, retained placenta and dystocia. Journal of Animal Science 77(1):39-47.

Fisher LJ and Williams CJ (1978). Effect of environmental factors and fetal and maternal genotype on gestation length and birth weight of Holstein calves. Journal of Dairy Science 61(10):1462-67.

Keyserlingk MAG and Weary DM (2007). Maternal behaviour in cattle. Hormone and Behavior 52:106-113.

Messine OL, Schwalbach JM, Mbah DA and Ebangi AL (2007). Non-genetic factors affecting gestation length and postpartum intervals in Gudali Zebu cattle of the Adamawa Highlands of Cameroon. Tropicultura 25(3):129-133.

Miedema H (2009). Investigating the use of behavioural, accelerometer and heart rate measurements to predict calving in dairy cows. PhD Thesis submitted to the University of Edinburgh, U.K.

Owens JL and Edey TN (1985). Parturient behaviour and calf survival in a herd selected for twinning. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 13:321-333.

Pennington JA and Albright JL (1985). Effect of feeding time, behaviour and environmental factors on the time of calving in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 68(10):2746-2750.

Roth BA, Barth K, Gygax L and Hillmann E (2009). Influence of artificial vs. mother-bonded rearing on sucking behaviour, health and weight gain in calves. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 119(3-4):143-150.

Sivakumar T, Soundararajan C and Palanidorai R (2005). Factors affecting birth weight in Boer x Kanni kids. Indian Journal of Small Ruminants 11(1):69-71.

Snedecor GW and Cochran WG (1994). Statistical Methods. 8th Edn, Iowa State University Press.

Thakkar NK (2019). Performance evaluation of Kankrej herd. MVSc Thesis Submitted to SDAU, Sardarkrushinagar, Dantiwada.

Tharmaraj J, Shinde Y, Kashiwamura F, Nakamura M, Iketaki T and Ota S (1989). The influence of sex and birth weight of the calf and the parity and length of gestation on the time of calving. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 69(4):871-875.

Yarney TA, Parker R, Palmer W and Rahnefeld G (1982). Hourly distribution of time of parturition in beef cows. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 62(2):597-605.