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Effects of underfeeding during the second gestation of Holstein-Friesian heifers. 1. Direct effect on lactation performance over the final 5 months of lactation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2021

R.J. Dewhurst
Affiliation:
Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, SY23 3EB, UK
J.M. Moorby
Affiliation:
Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, SY23 3EB, UK
D.W.R. Davies
Affiliation:
Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, SY23 3EB, UK
W.J. Fisher
Affiliation:
Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, SY23 3EB, UK
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Extract

Manipulation of energy- and protein supply during the dry period can affect milk production and composition in the next lactation (Moorby et al, 1996). These studies also demonstrated considerable between-animal variation in responses which may relate to previous nutritional history. This problem was addressed in the current experiment by (i) developing enhanced assessments of animal condition; and (ii) monitoring performance over successive lactations. The second half of the first lactation is a critical phase, particularly for young heifers, since they have to balance the competing demands of pregnancy, growth and a persistent lactation. Berg and Ekern (1993) showed that underfeeding heifers had a residual effect on milk production and composition in their second lactation.

Forty-five Holstein Friesian heifers, which calved from September to December 1994, were selected for this work; 23 of the animals calved at approximately 3 years of age (‘3’), 22 at approximately 2 years of age (‘2’). Thirty-eight animals completed the experiment (to the end of their second lactation) and data from these animals are used here. The animals were maintained on a complete diet until April 1995 when they were offered 8 kg/day of concentrate with ad libitum grass silage for 3 weeks of covariance recording.

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Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 1997

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References

Berg, J. and Ekern, A. 1993. Long-term effects of concentrate level in dairy cows. Acta Agriculturœ Scandinavica A. Animal Science 43: 3543.Google Scholar
Moorby, J.M., Dewhurst, R. J. and Marsden, S. 1996. Effect of increasing digestible undegradable protein supply to dairy cows in late gestation on the yield and composition of milk during the subsequent lactation. Animal Science 63: 201213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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Effects of underfeeding during the second gestation of Holstein-Friesian heifers. 1. Direct effect on lactation performance over the final 5 months of lactation
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Effects of underfeeding during the second gestation of Holstein-Friesian heifers. 1. Direct effect on lactation performance over the final 5 months of lactation
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