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Effect of feeding before, during and after milking on milk production and the hormones oxytocin, prolactin, gastrin and somatostatin

Effect of feeding before, during and after milking on milk production and the hormones oxytocin, prolactin, gastrin and somatostatin

Journal of Dairy Research 66(2): 151-163

Feeding during milking has been shown to influence milk production, milk flow and milking time as well as the secretion of the pituitary hormones oxytocin and prolactin, and the gastrointestinal hormone somatostatin. However, it is not known whether feeding before or after milking has any effect. The aim of the present study was to investigate how the timing of feeding relative to milking influences milk production and flow, milking time and hormone secretion. The trial was carried out over 9 weeks with 24 cows at varying stages of lactation. Each treatment period lasted for 3 weeks, including one registration week. The cows were fed ad lib. and were exposed to three treatments: feeding 1(.)5 h before milking (FBM), feeding at exactly the same time as milking (FDM) and feeding 1(.)5 h after milking (FAM). The most marked treatment effect was observed during morning milking. FDM resulted in higher milk production and higher yields of protein and lactose. FAM produced a lower fat yield and a lower fat content compared with FDM. and a lower lactose content than either FBM and FDM. Milking time was longer when cows were fed during milking, but no significant effects on milk flow were found. The amount of milk collected during the first 2 min of milking was lower when cows were fed after milking. Milking-related oxytocin and somatostatin secretion was lower in FAM than in FDM. The level of prolactin was lower when cows were fed before or after than during milking. More studies are needed to elucidate whether there is a long-term effect on milk production related to the discussed milking routines.

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Accession: 003107575

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PMID: 10376238

DOI: 10.1017/s0022029999003532

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