Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Factors affecting the lactation curves of intensively managed sheep based on a clustering approach

  • Laura Elvira (a1), Fernando Hernandez (a2), Pedro Cuesta (a3), Santiago Cano (a3), Juan-Vicente Gonzalez-Martin (a1) (a4) and Susana Astiz (a5)...

Abstract

This study investigated factors affecting milk production and lactation curves from complete lactations of Lacaune dairy sheep. Animals were part of a single flock under intensive management and were milked twice daily starting at lambing. The results of the analyses of 7788 complete lactations showed an average total milk yield of 434±183 l from lactations 234±63 d long, with an average lambing interval of 302±65 d. A Pollott additive mathematical model was used to estimate complete lactation curves. Clustering analysis identified four lactation types among Lacaune dairy sheep differing mainly in productivity i.e. milk yield per lactation (MY) and length of lactation (DIM). The so-called SL type involved short, less productive lactations (n=2137; 27·4%; MY=222±75·5 l and DIM=182±52·9 d). The SN type involved short lactations of normal productivity (n=2039; 26·2%; MY=396±73·7 l and DIM=205±33·1 d). The LP type involved long and productive lactations (n=2169; 27·9%; MY=487±70·5 l and DIM=265±40·7 d), while the LVP type included long and extremely productive lactations (n=1443; 18·5%; MY=694±114·0 l and DIM=295±54·7 d). Sheep showing the best lactation curves were usually younger than other sheep, and they had higher yield during the previous lactation, a shorter previous dry period (55±50·4 for LP and 61±55·0 d for LVP types) and longer lambing intervals. In addition, they tended to be born in September and to lamb in March, October and December. Sheep were remarkably stable in their lactation curve behaviour: the curve type observed for the first lactation was highly likely to persist in subsequent lactations (P<0·0001). These results suggest that farmers can use the shape of the first lactation curve to guide their selection of ewes for breeding and retention on the farm, thereby improving flock productivity.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*For correspondence; e-mail: astiz.susana@inia.es

References

Hide All
Barillet, F 1985 Amélioration génétique de la composition du lait de brebis: l'exemple de la race Lacaune [Genetic improvement of the composition of sheep milk: the example of the Lacaune breed]. Inst Natl Rech Agron. Paris-Grignon, France
Barillet, F, Boichard, D, Barbat, A, Astruc, JM & Bonaiti, B 1992 Use of an animal model for genetic evaluation of the Lacaune dairy sheep. Livestock Production Science 31 287299
Barillet, F, Marie, C, Jacquin, M, Lagriffoul, G & Astruc, JM 2001 The French Lacaune dairy sheep breed: use in France and abroad in the last 40 years. Livestock Production Science 71 1729
Bécue Bertaut, M & Valls i Marsal, J 2011 Manual de introducción a los métodos factoriales y clasificación con SPAD. Servei d'Estadística, p. 68. Universitat autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona
Bizelis, JA, Charismiadou, MA & Rogdakis, E 2000 Metabolic changes during the perinatal period in dairy sheep in relation to level of nutrition and breed II: early lactation. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 84 7384
Butler, WR, Fullenkamp, SM, Cappitello, LA & Handwerger, S 1981 The relationship between breed and litter size in sheep and maternal serum concentrations of placental lactogen, estradiol and progesterone. Journal of Animal Science 53 10771081
Byatt, JC, Warren, WC, Eppard, PJ, Staten, NR, Krivi, GG & Collier, RJ 1992 Ruminant placental lactogens: structure and biology. Journal of Animal Science 70 29112923
Cannas, A, Nudda, A & Giuseppe, P 2002 Nutritional strategies to improve lactation persistency in dairy ewes. In 8th Annual Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium. Ithaca, New York, USA, pp. 1759
Capuco, AV, Ellis, SE, Hale, SA, Long, E, Erdman, RA, Zhao, X & Paape, MJ 2003 Lactation persistency: insights from mammary cell proliferation studies. Journal of Animal Science 81(Suppl. 3), 1831
Cardenas, CS 2009 Segmentation of bovine lactation curves, during the first third of lactation via cluster and lineal discriminant analysis. Agro Sur 37 126133
Carta, A, Sanna, SR & Casu, S 1995. Estimating lactation curves and seasonal effects for milk, fat and protein in Sarda dairy sheep with a test day model. Livestock Production Science 44 3744
Charismiadou, MA, Bizelis, JA & Rogdakis, E 2000 Metabolic changes during the perinatal period in dairy sheep in ralation to level of nutrition and breed. I. Late pregnancy. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 84 6172
Cole, JB & VanRaden, PM 2006 Genetic evaluation and best prediction of lactation persistency. Journal of Dairy Science 89 27222728
David, I, Astruc, JM, Lagriffoul, G, Manfredi, E, Robert-Granié, C & Bodin, L 2008 Genetic correlation between female fertility and milk yield in Lacaune sheep. Journal of Dairy Science 91 40474052
El-Saied, UM, de la Fuente, LF & Primitivo, FS 2006 Phenotypic study on total and partial lifetime traits for dairy ewes. Journal of Dairy Research 73 101108
Elvira, L, Hernandez, F, Cuesta, P, Cano, S, Gonzalez-Martin, JV & Astiz, S 2013 Accurate mathematical models to describe the lactation curve of Lacaune dairy sheep under intensive management. Animal Dez 20 19, In press. doi: 10.1017/S175173111200239X
Eyal, E, Lawi, A, Folman, Y & Morag, M 1978 Lamb and milk production of a flock of dairy ewes under an accelerated breeding regime. Journal of Agricultural Science 91 6979
Gabiña, D, Arrese, F, Arranz, J & Beltran de Heredia, I 1993 Average milk yields and environmental effects on Latxa sheep. Journal of Dairy Science 76 11911198
Gootwine, E & Pollott, GE 2000 Factors affecting milk production in improved Awassi dairy ewes. Animal Science 71 607615
Hartigan, JA 1975 Clustering Algorithms. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Hernandez, F, Elvira, L, Gonzalez-Martin, JV, Gonzalez-Bulnes, A & Astiz, S 2011 Influence of age at first lambing on reproductive and productive performance of Lacaune dairy sheep under an intensive management system. Journal of Dairy Research 78 160167
Hernandez, F, Elvira, L, Gonzalez-Martin, JV & Astiz, S 2012 Influence of dry period length on reproductive performance and productivity of Lacaune dairy sheep under an intensive management system. Journal of Dairy Research 79 352360
Jamrozik, J, Fatehi, J & Schaeffer, LR 2007 Application of robust procedures for estimation of breeding values in multiple-trait random regression testday model. Journal of Animal Breeding Genetics 124 311
Jonas, E, Thomson, PC, Hall, EJ, McGill, D, Lam, MK & Raadsma, HW 2011 Mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) in sheep. IV. Analysis of lactation persistency and extended lactation traits in sheep. Genetics Selection Evolution 21 43:22http://www.gsejournal.org/content/43/1/22
Kassem, R, Owen, JB & Fedel, I 1989 Rebreeding activity in milking Awassi ewes under semi-arid conditions. Animal Production 49 8993
Lebart, L, Morineau, A & Piron, M 1995 Statistique Exploratoire Multidimensionnelle. Paris: Dunod
Morant, SV & Gnanasakthy, A 1989 A new approach to the mathematical formulation of lactation curves. Animal Production 49 151162
Natzke, RP, Everett, RW & Bray, DR 1975 Effect of drying off practices on mastitis infection. Journal of Dairy Science 58 18281835
Oravcová, M, Margetín, M, Peškovičová, D, Daňo, J, Milerski, M, Hetényi, L & Polák, P 2006 Factors affecting milk yield and ewe's lactation curves estimated with test-day models. Czech Journal of Animal Science 51 483490
Peralta-Lailson, M, Trejo-González, , Pedraza-Villagómez, P, Berruecos-Villalobos, JM & Vasquez, CG 2005 Factors affecting milk yield and lactation curve fitting in the Creole sheep of Chiapas-Mexico. Small Ruminant Research 58 265273
Pinedo, P, Risco, C & Melendez, P 2011 A retrospective study on the association between different lengths of the dry period and subclinical mastitis, milk yield, reproductive performance, and culling in Chilean dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 94 106115
Pollott, GE 2000 A biological approach to lactation curve analysis for milk yield. Journal of Dairy Science 83 24482458
Pollott, GE & Gootwine, E 2000 Appropriate mathematical models for describing the complete lactation of dairy sheep. Journal of Animal Science 71 197207
Pollott, GE & Gootwine, E 2004 Reproductive performance and milk production of Assaf sheep in an intensive management system. Journal of Dairy Science 87 36903703
Regli, JG 1999 Farm adapted breeds: a panel presentation of flock performance records for Lacaune dairy sheep. In Proceedings of the 5th Great Lakes Dairy Sheep Symposium, Brattleboro, VT, USA, November 4–6, pp. 5154
Ruiz, R, Oregui, LM & Herrero, M 2000 Comparison of models for describing the lactation curve of latxa sheep and an analysis of factors affecting milk yield. Journal of Dairy Science 83 27092719
Schoknecht, PA, Nobrega, SN, Petterson, JA, Ehrhardt, RA, Slepetis, R & Bell, AW 1991 Relations between maternal and fetal plasma concentrations of placental lactogen and placental and fetal weights in well-fed ewes. Journal of Animal Science 69 10591063
Soelkner, J & Fuchs, W 1987 A comparison of different measures of persistency with special respect to variation of test-day yields. Livestock Production Science 16 305319
Such, X & Caja, G 1995 Résultats d'efficacité alimentaire a l'Université Autonome de Barcelone. Final Scientific Report of European Contract CAMAR No 8001-CT 91-0113

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Factors affecting the lactation curves of intensively managed sheep based on a clustering approach

  • Laura Elvira (a1), Fernando Hernandez (a2), Pedro Cuesta (a3), Santiago Cano (a3), Juan-Vicente Gonzalez-Martin (a1) (a4) and Susana Astiz (a5)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.