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Journal Articles Animal Year : 2023

Short communication: Variability of response to feed restriction in lactating Charolais cows

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Abstract

Involuntary temporary feed restriction on commercial cattle is likely to become more frequent with forage shortages in the context of climate change. If general consequences of feed restriction have been the subject of an abundant scientific literature, focus on the inter-individual variability of response is scarce. Here, we explore the response profile in terms of BW, body condition score, milk production, calf weight and cyclicity resumption of 293 lactations from 169 Charolais cows during a winter feed restriction in early lactation and its subsequent recovery at grazing using a principal component analysis followed by a hierarchical clustering on principal component. Results show a very continuous range of response profiles that was divided into three clusters: one with light animals having an intermediate response in terms of milk production and body maintenance, one with animals prioritising body maintenance and cyclicity resumption over milk production and calf weight, and the last one with animals prioritising milk production and calf weight over the rest. Among the animals performing more than one lactation, 57% remain in the same cluster on two successive lactations. This work highlights that an average group response to feed restriction may hide various resilience individual profiles. Further studies are required to determine the existence of a genetic component as well as the consequences of not taking this phenomenon into consideration with the regular use of feed restriction in commercial farms.

Dates and versions

hal-03929994 , version 1 (09-01-2023)

Licence

Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Pauline Martin, Aurélie Vinet, Frédéric Launay, Dominique Dozias, David Maupetit, et al.. Short communication: Variability of response to feed restriction in lactating Charolais cows. Animal, 2023, 17 (2), pp.100704. ⟨10.1016/j.animal.2022.100704⟩. ⟨hal-03929994⟩
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