Milk production during the colostral period is not related to the later lactational performance in dairy cows

Kessler, Evelyne; Bruckmaier, Rupert; Gross, Josef Johann (2014). Milk production during the colostral period is not related to the later lactational performance in dairy cows. Journal of dairy science, 97(4), pp. 2186-2192. American Dairy Science Association 10.3168/jds.2013-7573

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In dairy cows, milk yield increases rapidly after parturition until a peak at around wk 6 of lactation. However, the description of the shape of the lactation curve is commonly based on weekly average milk yields. For a more detailed analysis of the milk production curve from the very beginning of lactation including the colostral period and the effect of colostrum yield on further lactational performance, the first 10 milkings after parturition, daily milk yields from d 1 to 28 of lactation, and the cumulative milk production on d 100 to 305 of lactation were investigated in 17 primiparous and 39 multiparous cows milked twice daily. Milk yield at the first milking after parturition (colostrum) ranged from 1.3 to 20.7kg (Δ=19.4kg) in multiparous and from 1.8 to 10.9kg in primiparous animals (Δ=9.1kg). At the tenth milking, milk production ranged from 9.2 to 21.5kg (Δ=12.3kg) in multiparous and from 7.0 to 15.2kg (Δ=8.2kg) in primiparous animals. Immediately after parturition, daily milk production increased rapidly, but after approximately 1wk in lactation, the slope of the daily milk production curve flattened and continued more linear. A nonlinear regression equation was used to determine this timely change, which occurred earlier in primiparous (d 6.9±0.3) than in multiparous cows (d 8.2±0.2). The correlation between the amount of first colostrum and milk production during further lactation decreased already from 0.47 on d 5 to 0.32 on d 14. In multiparous cows, the correlation between total milk production of the previous 305d standard lactation and the amount of first colostrum was not significant (correlation=0.29), whereas the correlation with the daily production increased from 0.45 on d 5 to 0.69 on d 14. However, in primiparous animals, correlations between first-colostrum yield and daily milk yields up to d 28 of lactation were not significant, possibly due to the smaller sample size compared with multiparous animals. First-colostrum yield and cumulative milk production of 100, 200, and 305 lactation days were not significantly correlated in multiparous and primiparous cows. In conclusion, the milk production during the first few milkings is widely independent from the overall production level of a cow. Potentially, genetic selection toward lower milk yield during the very first days after parturition at a simultaneously high lactational performance may be a tool to ensure sufficient colostrum quality and to reduce the metabolic load around parturition.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Kessler, Evelyne; Bruckmaier, Rupert and Gross, Josef Johann

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0022-0302

Publisher:

American Dairy Science Association

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lorenzo Enrique Hernandez Castellano

Date Deposited:

30 Mar 2015 15:36

Last Modified:

01 Apr 2015 04:51

Publisher DOI:

10.3168/jds.2013-7573

PubMed ID:

24485686

Uncontrolled Keywords:

colostrum, dairy cow, lactation curve, milk yield

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.66035

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/66035

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