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Relationships between size, live-weight change and milk production characters in early lactation in dairy cattle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2010

P. D. P. Wood
Affiliation:
Milk Marketing Board, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0EL
J. O. L. King
Affiliation:
University of Liverpool, Veterinary Field Station, Neston, South Wirral, Merseyside L64 7TE
P. G. Youdan
Affiliation:
University of Liverpool, Veterinary Field Station, Neston, South Wirral, Merseyside L64 7TE
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Abstract

Live weight, milk yield, fat, protein and lactose percentage of 236 cows and heifers of four breeds of dairy cattle were recorded at 2-week intervals, starting within a week after calving, during the winter and spring of 1972/73. Lactation curves of the form X(n) = Xnb ecn were fitted to each animal's records, where X, b, c are constants, e the base of natural logarithms and X(n) the value of the character at the nth 2-week interval. Correlations between the curves, and between deviations from the curves, showed that the production of milk, fat, protein and lactose was negatively correlated with live-weight change in the long term, but that deviations from the curves were not correlated. There were significant positive correlations between milk yield and size, and between potential compositional quality and size (the values of × in the model). Of the four breeds studied, Friesian, Ayrshire, Guernsey and Jersey, adult Friesian cows required less dietary energy per kg of total solids produced than any other group, according to the principles of the metabolizable energy system of calculating energy requirements. During the period of negative energy balance, an average 10% to 15% of energy output in the form of milk was derived from the mobilization of body reserves.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 1980

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References

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