Food intake, milk production, and tissue changes of Holstein-Friesian and Jersey x Holstein-Friesian dairy cows within a medium-input grazing system and a high-input total confinement system

T Vance, Cherith Ferris, Christopher Elliott, S.A. McGettrick, David Kilpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although interest in crossbreeding within dairy systems has increased, the role of Jersey crossbred cows within high concentrate input systems has received little attention. This experiment was designed to examine the performance of Holstein-Friesian (HF) and Jersey x Holstein-Friesian (J x HF) cows within a high concentrate input total confinement system (CON) and a medium concentrate input grazing system (GRZ). Eighty spring-calving dairy cows were used in a 2 (cow genotype) x 2 (milk production system) factorial design experiment. The experiment commenced when cows calved and encompassed a full lactation. With GRZ, cows were offered diets containing grass silage and concentrates [70:30 dry matter (DM) ratio] until turnout, grazed grass plus 1.0 kg of concentrate/day during a 199-d grazing period, and grass silage and concentrates (75:25 DM ratio) following rehousing and until drying-off. With CON, cows were confined throughout the lactation and offered diets containing grass silage and concentrates (DM ratio; 40:60, 50:50, 40:40, and 75:25 during d 1 to 100, 101 to 200, 201 to 250, and 251 until drying-off, respectively). Full-lactation concentrate DM intakes were 791 and 2,905 kg/cow for systems GRZ and CON, respectively. Although HF cows had a higher lactation milk yield than J x HF cows, the latter produced milk with a higher fat and protein content, so that solids-corrected milk yield (SCM) was unaffected by genotype. Somatic cell score was higher with the J x HF cows. Throughout lactation, HF cows were on average 37 kg heavier than J x HF cows, whereas the J x HF cows had a higher body condition score. Within each system, food intake did not differ between genotypes, whereas full-lactation yields of milk, fat plus protein, and SCM were higher with CON than with GRZ. A significant genotype x environment interaction was observed for milk yield, and a trend was found for an interaction with SCM. Crossbred cows on CON gained more body condition than HF cows, and overall pregnancy rate was unaffected by either genotype or management system. In summary, milk and SCM yields were higher with CON than with GRZ, whereas genotype had no effect on SCM. However, HF cows exhibited a greater milk yield response and a trend toward a greater SCM yield response with increasing concentrate levels compared with the crossbred cows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1544
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science
  • Genetics

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