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Rearing conditions and lifetime milk revenues in Swedish dairy cows

Hultgren, Jan and Svensson, Catarina and Pehrsson, Mats (2011). Rearing conditions and lifetime milk revenues in Swedish dairy cows. Livestock science. 137 :1 , 108-115
[Research article]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2010.10.005


Associations between replacement heifer rearing conditions and lifetime milk revenues
were studied throughout the productive life of Swedish dairy cows. Data were collected from
2127 cows, mainly Swedish Reds and Swedish Holsteins, representing all female animals
born during 1998 in 110 herds and followed until May 2006. Lifetime net milk revenues were
calculated for each cow based on the length of productive life, lifetime milk production, a
fixed milk price of 0.3 €/kg ECM, and estimated costs for heifer rearing and cow feed.
Median observed productive lifetime to culling, death, selling off or terminated recording was
26.9 mo. Mean lifetime production was 9209 kg ECM/cow-yr, calculated from monthly testday
yields. Rearing costs (median 631 €) were estimated using a template developed for
Swedish advisory services, including costs related to purchase, feeding, labour, building
investment, building maintenance and breeding. Net milk revenues had a median of 1169
€/cow-yr during productive life and were heavily skewed. Diarrhea and respiratory disease
before 7 mo of age had occurred in 11 and 11% of the cows, respectively, the majority cases
being mild. The mean prepubertal growth rate was 670 g/day. Cow net revenue values were
transformed to achieve normality and analysed by a linear mixed model including fixed
effects of breed, calf housing system from 3 to 7 mo of age, body condition score at 1st
breeding, year of 1st calving, age at 1st calving, cow housing system, mean milk cell count,
the interaction between calf housing and breed, the interaction between cow housing and
breed, and the random effect of herd. The model predicted net revenues to decrease with age
at 1st calving and with body condition score at breeding over 4. Our results show that
replacement rearing factors influence net milk revenues of a dairy operation and suggest that
current recommendations to breed dairy heifers for calving at 24 mo are economically

Authors/Creators:Hultgren, Jan and Svensson, Catarina and Pehrsson, Mats
Title:Rearing conditions and lifetime milk revenues in Swedish dairy cows
Series Name/Journal:Livestock science
Year of publishing :2011
Page range:108-115
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Research Areas for the Future > Future Animal Health and Welfare (until Jan 2017)
Additional Information:Published by Elsevier in Livestock Science.
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Food Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Keywords:Dairy cattle, Health, Milk production, Rearing, Replacement heifer, Revenue
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
ID Code:8405
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: Linda Åström
Deposited On:28 Oct 2011 06:57
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:47

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