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Relationship between genetic merit, milk production, body condition, blood parameters and reproductive performance of dairy cows

  • S.E.M. Snijders (a1) (a2), P.G. Dillon (a2), K.J. O'Farrell (a2), M. Diskin (a3), D. O'Callaghan (a4), M. Rath (a1) and M.P. Boland (a1)...

Abstract

Based on their pedigree indices for milk production traits, 48 high (HM) and 48 medium (MM) genetic merit cows were studied in each of two years to determine the possible relationships between genetic merit, milk production, body condition, metabolite and hormone concentrations, feed intake and reproductive performance. The high genetic merit cows had higher milk production, greater body condition loss between calving and first service, lower plasma glucose and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and lower first and second service conception rates than the medium genetic merit cows. Furthermore, more high genetic merit cows were not pregnant at the end of the breeding period compared with medium genetic merit cows. Cows that did not conceive to first service were retrospectively compared to those that conceived to first service within each genetic merit category. Within the high and medium genetic merit category there were no significant differences between the cows that did not conceive and those that conceived to first service in terms of milk production, or plasma concentrations of glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA). Although medium genetic merit cows that did not conceive to first service lost more body condition score between calving and first service than those that conceived to first service, there was no difference in body condition score (BCS) change between calving and first service between high genetic merit cows that did not conceive and those that conceived to first service. In the present study, high genetic merit cows had higher milk production and reduced reproductive performance in comparison with medium genetic merit cows. However, reproductive performance was not associated with milk production, energy balance or plasma concentrations of glucose, NEFA or IGF-1 between calving and insemination

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Relationship between genetic merit, milk production, body condition, blood parameters and reproductive performance of dairy cows

  • S.E.M. Snijders (a1) (a2), P.G. Dillon (a2), K.J. O'Farrell (a2), M. Diskin (a3), D. O'Callaghan (a4), M. Rath (a1) and M.P. Boland (a1)...

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