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Genetic line x concentrate level interactions for milk production and feed efficiency in dairy cattle

Genetic line x concentrate level interactions for milk production and feed efficiency in dairy cattle

Canadian Journal of Animal Science 72(2): 227-236

Early first lactation data from 2230 cows of five research herbs of Agriculture Canada were used to study the interactions of genetic line by concentrate level, and sire by concentrate level and to estimate breeding values of sires. The genetic lines were defined as Holstein (H). Ayrshire (A), and H .times. A or A .times. H (C). The interations of sire by concentrate level were studied separately using progeny of five different mating groups: G1, H sires mated to H cows; G2, H sires mated to H, A and C cows; G3, A sires mated to A cows; G4. A sires mated to H, A and C cows; and G5, C sires mated to C cows. The interactions of genetic line by concentrate were significant (P < 0.05) for 56- to 112-d milk yield (MY112), corrected 56- to 112-d milk yield (CMY 112) and feed efficiency (EFMY 112 = MY112/TDN consumption). H and C cows produced more milk and were more efficient than A cows when fed high levels of concentrate. The H cattle possess a greater capacity to convert the concentrate into milk, while A cattle reach maximum milk production earlier than H cattle. The interactions of sire by concentrate were statistically significant for MY112, EFMY112, and CMY112 in G1 (P < 0.01), and G2 (P < 0.01). The breeding values of sires for MY112 were estimated using BLUP for all of the H line (BLUP-T), for half of the population consuming low amounts of concentrate (BLUP-L) and for the other half consuming high amounts (BLUP-H). A significant reranking of sires was found among the three groups.

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