Holstein-Friesian strain and feed effects on milk production, body weight, and body condition score profiles in grazing dairy cows
Roche, J.R.; Berry, D.P.; Kolver, E.S.
Journal of Dairy Science 89(9): 3532-3543
Data from 113 lactations across 76 cows between the years 2002 to 2004 were used to determine the effect of strain of Holstein-Friesian (HF) dairy cow and concentrate supplementation on milk production, body weight (BW), and body condition score (BCS; 1 to 5 scale) lactation profiles. New Zealand (NZ) and North American (NA) HF cows were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 levels of concentrate supplementation [0, 3, or 6 kg of dry matter (DM)/cow per d] on a basal pasture diet. The Wilmink exponential model was fitted within lactation (Y(DIM) = a + b e(-0.05 x DIM) + c x DIM). The median variation explained by the function for milk yield was 86%, between 62 and 69% for milk composition, and 80 and 70% for BW and BCS, respectively. North American cows and cows supplemented with concentrates had greater peak and 270-d milk yield. Concentrate supplementation tended to accelerate the rate of incline to peak milk yield, but persistency of lactation was not affected by either strain of HF or concentrate supplementation. No significant strain by diet interaction was found for parameters reported. New Zealand cows reached nadir BCS 14 d earlier and lost less BW (22 kg) postcalving than NA cows. Concentrate supplementation reduced the postpartum interval to nadir BW and BCS, and incrementally increased nadir BCS. New Zealand cows gained significantly more BCS (i.e., 0.9 x 10(-3) units/d more) postnadir than NA cows, and the rate of BCS replenishment increased linearly with concentrate supplementation from 0.5 x 10(-3) at 0 kg of DM/d to 0.8 x 10(-3) and 1.6 x 10(-3) units/d at 3 and 6 kg of DM/d concentrates, respectively. Although there was no significant strain by diet interaction for parameters reported, there was a tendency for a strain by diet interaction in 270-d BCS, suggesting that the effect of concentrate supplementation on BCS gain was, at least partly, strain dependent.