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The effect of dairy cow breed and cross on milk production and fatty acid composition under grazing conditions

  • R A Palladino (a1), F Buckley (a2), J J Murphy (a2), R Prendiville (a1) (a2), J Callan (a1) and D Kenny (a1)...


Dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been recognized as having potential positive effects on human health (Lock and Bauman, 2004). Furthermore, alteration of the fatty acid (FA) composition of milk through targeted manipulation of dairy cow diets can be achieved (Dewhurst et al., 2006). Although breed effects on the FA composition of milk have previously been reported (Kelsey et al., 2003), most work to-date has been conducted under high input TMR based systems. Furthermore, little is known on the effects of heterosis on concentrations of FA in milk. The objective of this study was to examine whether differences in milk FA concentration exist between two contrasting breeds of dairy cow and their F1 hybrid managed under a grazing based production system.


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Christie, W. W. (1982). A simple procedure for rapid transmethylation of glycerolipids and cholesteryl esters. Journal of Lipid Research. 23, 1072–1075.
Dewhurst, R. J., Shingfield, K. J., Lee, M. R. F., and Scollan, N. D. (2006) Increasing the concentrations of beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids in milk produced by dairy cows in high-forage systems. Animal Feed Science Technology. 131, 168–206.
Kelsey, J. A., Corl, B. A., Collier, R. J., and Bauman, D. E. (2003) The effect of breed, parity, and stage of lactation on conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in milk fat from dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science. 86, 2588–2597.
Lock, A. L., and Bauman, D. E. (2004) Modifying milk fat composition of dairy cows to enhance fatty acids beneficial to human health. Lipids. 39, 1197–1206.


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