Genetic relationships between weight loss in early lactation and daily milk production throughout the lactation in Holstein cows - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Dairy Science Year : 2023

Genetic relationships between weight loss in early lactation and daily milk production throughout the lactation in Holstein cows

Abstract

After calving, high-yielding dairy cows mobilize body reserves for energy, sometimes to the detriment of health and fertility. This study aimed to estimate the genetic correlation between body weight loss until nadir and daily milk production (MY24) in first-(L1) and second-lactation (L2) Holstein cows. The data set included 859,020 MY24 records and 570,651 daily raw body weight (BWr) phenotypes from 3,989 L1 cows, and 665,361 MY24 records and 449,449 BWr phenotypes from 3,060 L2 cows, recorded on 36 French commercial farms equipped with milking robots that included an automatic weighing platform. To avoid any bias due to change in digestive content, BWr was adjusted for variations in feed intake, estimated from milk production and BWr. Adjusted body weight was denoted BW. The genetic parameters of BW and MY24 in L1 and L2 cows were estimated using a 4-trait random regression model. In this model, the random effects were fitted by second-order Legendre polynomials on a weekly basis from wk 1 to 44. Nadir of BW was found to be earlier than reported in the literature, at 29 d in milk, and BW loss from calving to nadir was also lower than generally assumed, close to 29 kg. To estimate genetic correlations between body weight loss and production, we defined BWL5 as the loss of weight between wk 1 and 5 after calving. Genetic correlations between BWL5 and MY24 ranged from −0.26 to 0.05 in L1 and from −0.11 to 0.10 in L2, according to days in milk. These moderate to low values suggest that it may be possible to select for milk production without increasing early body mobilization.
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hal-04092080 , version 1 (09-05-2023)

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T. Tribout, S. Minéry, R. Vallée, S. Saille, D. Saunier, et al.. Genetic relationships between weight loss in early lactation and daily milk production throughout the lactation in Holstein cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 2023, 106, pp.4799-4812. ⟨10.3168/jds.2022-22813⟩. ⟨hal-04092080⟩
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