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Reproductive and Productive Performance of Iraqi Buffaloes as Influenced of Pre-Mating and Pre-Calving Concentrate Supplementation
Talal Anwer Abdulkareem*, Sawsan Ali Al-Sharifi, Sajeda Mahdi Eidan and R.G. Sasser1
Department of Animal Resources, College of Agriculture, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq, 1BioTracking LLC, Moscow, Idaho, USA *Corresponding author:


The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of pre-mating and pre-calving concentrate supplementation of Iraqi buffaloes on some of the reproductive (estrus, mating, pregnancy and calving rates) and productive (daily milk yield and calves birth weight) traits. This study was carried out in 4 Iraqi South-central governorates using 596 pre-mating and 628 pregnant buffaloes (during the last two months of gestation). Pre-mating buffaloes were divided randomly into 496 concentrate-supplemented buffaloes (Flushing) and 100 control ones. Additionally, pregnant buffaloes were also divided into 528 concentrate- supplemented buffaloes (Steaming up) and 100 controls.  Each buffalo within the flushing and steaming up groups were fed daily on 7 Kg of concentrate diet (13% crude protein and 1.70 Mcal of net energy) for 60 days. The control buffaloes were nourished only on low-quality roughages of the area and wheat bran. Higher estrus (+15%, P<0.01), pregnancy (+23.8%, P<0.05) and calving rates (+30.8%, P<0.01) were observed in concentrate-supplemented buffaloes as compared with controls. An obvious increase in (P<0.05) calving rate (+14.7%), daily milk yield (+44.8%) and calf birth weight (+25.6%) were noted in steaming up buffaloes in comparison with control buffaloes. Results indicated that improvement in feeding schedule of Iraqi buffaloes during pre-mating and late gestation periods enhanced the reproductive performance and increased milk production of subsequent lactation and calf birth weight. These improvements increased owner income ($174=209,000 Iraqi dinar /buffalo) from the sale of meat and milk.

Key words: Buffaloes, Concentrate, Milk yield, Pre-mating, Pre-calving, Reproduction


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)