Use of bovine somatotropin for milk production: The effect of time of treatment initiation on milk production of Holstein/Friesian dairy cows placed on a high-forage, low-concentrate feeding system
Phipps, R.H.; Adriaens, F.; Hard, D.L.; De-Kerchove, G.; Weller, R.F.
Grass and Forage Science 51(2): 111-115
ISSN/ISBN: 0142-5242 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2494.1996.tb02044.x
Sixty multiparous Holstein/Friesian cows were used in a 2 times 2 factorial design trial to determine the effect of the administration of bovine somatotropin (BST), at either 60 or 120 +- 3 d post partum, on milk production. All cows were offered ad libitum a forage mixture containing, on a dry-matter (DM) basis, grass and maize silage in a 1:1 ratio and 4 kg d-1 fresh weight of concentrate, which contained 115 and 495 g kg-' DM of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and crude protein (CP), respectively, and 13.5 MJ kg-1 DM metabolizable energy (ME). BST-treated cows received subcutaneous injections of a prolonged-release formulation of BST (sometribove). Injections were administered into the ischiorectal fossa at 14-d intervals for the remainder of the lactation. This schedule resulted in sixteen and twelve injections cow-1 when treatment was initiated at 60 and 120 +- 3 d post partum respectively. This corresponded to treatment periods of 32 and 24 weeks, in which the production responses were measured. When compared with control cows, the administration of BST from 60 and 120 +- 3 d post partum increased mean milk yield by 1.2 and 3.3 kg day-1 respectively, although only the latter milk-yield response was significant (P lt 0.001). The administration of BST produced a small nonsignificant increase in DM intake, no effect on milk composition and a small but significant reduction in body condition. In conclusion a significant milkyield response can be obtained from the use of BST in high-forage, low-concentrate feeding systems if forage quality is high and treatment initiation is delayed until mid-lactation. This is illustrated by the fact that the lactation yield increased from 6054 to 6842 kg, and was obtained when using only 1.2 t of concentrate.