Dairy Cows' Temperament and Milking Performance during the Adaptation to an Automatic Milking System

Morales-Piñeyrúa, J.és.T.; Sant'Anna, A.C.; Banchero, G.; Damián, J.P.

Animals: An Open Access Journal from Mdpi 13(4)

2023


ISSN/ISBN: 2076-2615
PMID: 36830349
Accession: 089987045

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Abstract
Adaptative responses of cows to an automatic milking system (AMS) could depend on their temperament, i.e., cows with certain temperament profiles could be able to cope more successfully with the AMS. The relationships between dairy cows' temperament, behaviour, and productive parameters during the changeover from a conventional milking system (CMS) to an AMS were investigated. Thirty-three multiparous cows were classified as 'calm' or 'reactive' based on each of the temperament tests conducted: race time, flight speed (FS), and flight distance, at 5, 25, and 45 days in milk at CMS, then the cows were moved from the CMS to the AMS. During the first five milkings in AMS, the number of steps and kicks during each milking were recorded. The daily milk yield was automatically recorded. The number of steps did not vary by temperament classification, but the number of kicks per milking was greater for calm (0.45 ± 0.14) than for reactive cows (0.05 ± 0.03) when they were classified by FS (p < 0.01). During the first seven days in the AMS, reactive cows for the FS test produced more milk than calm cows (36.5 ± 1.8 vs. 33.2 ± 1.6 L/day; p = 0.05). In conclusion, behavioural and productive parameters were influenced by cows´ temperament during the milking system changeover since the calm cows kicked more and produced less than the reactive ones.