The effect of Holstein-Friesian, Jersey × Holstein-Friesian, and Norwegian Red × (Jersey × Holstein-Friesian) cows on dry matter intake and production efficiencies in pasture-based systems

B McClearn, L Delaby, T J Gilliland, N Galvin, C Guy, M Dineen, F Coughlan, B McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of cow genotype and parity on dry matter intake (DMI) and production efficiencies in pasture-based systems. Three dairy cow genotypes were evaluated over 3 yr; 40 Holstein-Friesian (HF), 40 Jersey × HF (JEX), and 40 Norwegian Red × JEX (3WAY) each year, with each genotype grazed in equal numbers on 1 of 4 grazing treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments [diploid or tetraploid perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) with or without white clover (Trifolium repens L.)]. A total of 208 individual cows were used during the experiment. The effect of parity (lactation 1, 2, and 3+) was also evaluated. Individual DMI was estimated 8 times during the study, 3 times in 2015 and in 2017, and twice in 2016, using the n-alkane technique. Days in milk at each DMI measurement period were 64, 110, and 189, corresponding to spring, summer, and autumn. Measures of milk production efficiency calculated were total DMI/100 kg of body weight (BW), milk solids (kg fat + protein; MSo)/100 kg of BW, solids-corrected milk (SCM)/100 kg of BW, and unité fourragère lait (net energy requirements for lactation equivalent of 1 kg of standard air-dry barley; UFL) available for standard (4.0% fat and 3.1% protein content) milk production after accounting for maintenance. During the DMI measurement periods HF had a greater milk yield (23.2 kg/cow per d) compared with JEX and 3WAY (22.0 and 21.9 kg/cow per d, respectively) but there was no difference in MSo yield. Holstein-Friesian and JEX, and JEX and 3WAY had similar DMI, but HF had greater total DMI than 3WAY (DMI was 17.2, 17.0, and 16.7 kg/cow per d for HF, JEX, and 3WAY, respectively). Jersey × Holstein-Friesian cows were the most efficient for total DMI/100 kg of BW, SCM/100 kg of BW, and MSo/100 kg of BW (3.63, 4.96, and 0.39 kg/kg of BW) compared with HF (3.36, 4.51, and 0.35 kg/kg of BW) and 3WAY (3.45, 4.63, and 0.37 kg/kg of BW), respectively. Unité fourragère lait available for standard milk production after accounting for maintenance was not different among genotypes. As expected, DMI differed significantly among parities with greater parity cows having higher DMI and subsequently higher milk and MSo yield. Although all 3 genotypes achieved high levels of DMI and production efficiency, JEX achieved the highest production efficiency. Some of the efficiency gains (SCM/100 kg of BW, MSo/100 kg of BW, and total DMI/100 kg of BW) achieved with JEX decreased when the third breed (Norwegian Red) was introduced.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Early online date09 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • dry matter intake
  • pasture-based systems
  • production efficiency
  • dairy cow genotype

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of Holstein-Friesian, Jersey × Holstein-Friesian, and Norwegian Red × (Jersey × Holstein-Friesian) cows on dry matter intake and production efficiencies in pasture-based systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this