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Feed conversion efficiency, daily pasture intake, and milk production of primiparous Friesian and Jersey cows calved at two different liveweights



Feed conversion efficiency, daily pasture intake, and milk production of primiparous Friesian and Jersey cows calved at two different liveweights



New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 39(3): 357-370



Pasture dry matter intake (DMI), milk yield and composition, and calculated feed conversion efficiencies (FCE), were monitored throughout lactation for primiparous Friesian (n = 16; F) and Jersey (n = 16; J) cows calved at either high (H) or low (L) calving liveweights (CLW). Half of the cows within each breed were differentially fed (H versus L) during the 8 weeks before expected calving date to produce CLWs of 404 (FH), 354 (FL), 334 (JH), and 277 (JL) +- 14 (SED) kg. Animals were fully fed on pasture as one group after calving throughout lactation. J cows were more efficient than F cows in converting DM into solids-corrected milk (SCM) (1.63 versus 1.49 +- 0.07 kg/kg DMI), milksolids (MS) (129 versus 115 +- 5 g/kg DMI), milk fat (79 versus 67 +- 3.8 g/kg DMI), and metabolisable energy intake (MEI) into milk energy (43 versus 37 +- 1.8%). Average DMI measured during six periods across lactation and once after the completion of lactation, were higher for F than J cows (10.5 versus 8.6 +- 0.2 kg/cow per day) but CLW had no effect on average DMI. CLW did however, affect DMI at 215 days since calving (DSC) when LCLW cows consumed more DM (FH, 11.3; FL, 12.0; JH, 9.4; JL, 10.2 (0.4 kg DM/cow per day). Liveweight-corrected DMI were slightly greater for J cows (2.66 versus 2.55 +- 0.05 kg/cow per day per 100 kg LW). The HCLW cows lost LW while LCLW cows gained LW until 56 DSC (FH, -8.9; FL, 33.4; JH, -25.9; JL, 10.4 ( 8.5 kg LW/cow), with JH cows losing more than FH (P lt 0.01). The LCLW cows produced less (P lt 0.01) milk, SCM, protein, milk fat, and lactose over the first 30-56 DSC. Thereafter, differences between CLW groups were not significant. Average daily milk yield across the whole lactation was affected by CLW (12.2 versus 11.0 (0.6 kg/cow per day; HCLW versus LCLW). LCLW cows had higher concentrations of milk protein (38.5 versus 36.1 +- 0.8 g/1000 g) and milk fat (57.1 versus 54.1 +- 1.5 g/1000 g). It was concluded that J cows were more efficient converters of pasture DM into MS, primarily because of a greater efficiency in milk fat production. CLW reduced milk production during the early part of lactation but did not affect DMI until mid lactation.

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Accession: 002840661

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DOI: 10.1080/00288233.1996.9513195


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