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Extended calving interval and increased milking frequency

effects on productivity and welfare

Österman, Sara (2003). Extended calving interval and increased milking frequency. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria, 1401-6249 ; 383
ISBN 91-576-6426-9
[Doctoral thesis]

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The general aim of the present work was to investigate the opportunities for a planned extended calving interval (CI) in dairy cattle, and how it would effect production and animal welfare. Furthermore, the effects of combining an extended calving interval with an increased milking frequency (MF) was evaluated.

The milk production per cow has increased dramatically during recent decades. In thirty years average milk production per cow has increased by more than 3000 kg energy corrected milk (ECM), and the development towards still higher milk yields does not appear to be stopping. High milk yields in combination with a minimised CI results in high yields when drying off, problems at the onset of the lactation and bad utilisation of the milk production capacity of the cow. The current management methods for high producing cows also results in a short length of life and must be questioned, both from an ethical and economical point of view.

In total, 72 cows of the Swedish Red and White Breed were introduced to the study, which lasted for three years. There was one conventional CI of 12 months, and one extended CI of 18 months, both of which were tested in combination with two different MF’s, 2x and 3x per day. The groups are referred to as 12-2, 12-3, 18-2 and 18-3.

The results presented here show that cows with 18 months CI have as high production, expressed as ECM/day of calving interval, as cows with a 12 months CI and cows in group 18-3 had the highest ECM/day of CI of all groups. An extension of the CI resulted in better feed efficiency compared to the conventional system, and the contents of somatic cells were desirably low throughout the extended lactation. The primiparous cows maintained their production better than the multiparous cows, and an increased milking frequency may contribute to increased comfort in high producing dairy cows. A system with an extended CI, is a less intensive system with fewer risk periods for the cow, and therefore it would increase not only the production, but also the animal welfare and the lifetime of the cow.

Authors/Creators:Österman, Sara
Title:Extended calving interval and increased milking frequency
Subtitle:effects on productivity and welfare
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria
Year of publishing :March 2003
Number of Pages:46
IÖsterman, S. & Bertilsson, J. 2003. Extended calving interval in combination with milking two or three times per day: effects on milk production and milk composition. Livestock Production Science, (in press).
IIÖsterman, S., Östensson, K., Svennersten-Sjaunja, K. & Bertilsson, J. 2003. How does extended lactation in combination with different milking frequencies effect somatic cell counts in dairy cows? (Submitted).
IIIBertilsson, J. & Österman, S. 2003. Extended calving interval in combination with milking two or three times per day: How does it effect feed intake and feed utilisation? (Manuscript).
IVÖsterman, S. & Redbo, I. 2001. Effects of milking frequency on lying down and getting up behaviour in dairy cows. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 70, 167-176.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6426-9
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
Q Food science > Q04 Food composition
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:dairy cows, parturition interval, milking, dry period, feed consumption, feed conversion efficiency, milk production, milk, quality, somatic cell count
Keywords:dairy cow, calving interval, milking frequency, drying off, feed consumption, feed efficiency, lying down, milk production, milk composition, somatic cell count
Permanent URL:
ID Code:191
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Deposited By: Sara Österman
Deposited On:13 Mar 2003 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:19 Mar 2015 10:05

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