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Title: Effects of Selection for Fertility on Lactation Curves
Contributor(s): Strucken, Eva  (author)orcid ; Laurenson, Yan  (author); Brockmann, Gudrun A (author)
Publication Date: 2015
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Breeding indices have enabled farmers to select for multiple traits simultaneously, including negatively correlated traits such as milk production and fertility. This negative correlation is believed to be either caused by an energy deficit during early lactation or serves a functional purpose in providing optimal birth spacing. A linear regression was carried out between parameters describing a lactation curve and a fertility index (RZR) and milk yield EBVs (mEBVs) to determine the effects of selection on the lactation curve. Breeding values of first lactation milk yield and a RZR were available for 2,405 sires. Additionally, these sires had test-day records of the first lactation of ~2M daughters. There was a negative correlation between mEBVs and RZR (r=-0.27, P<0.0001). Selection for fertility resulted in higher initial milk yield with an early peak yield. This suggests that an early peak occurs to provide offspring with sufficient milk despite a potential energy deficit. Further, an early peak provides an increased duration over which milk production declines and therefore sufficient time for the cow to recover from the energy deficit prior to a subsequent pregnancy. Finally, current production environments could be optimised to fulfil the genetic potential of high producing dairy cows.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: 21st Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Lorne, Australia, 28th - 30th September, 2015
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the Twenty-first Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics, p. 362-365
Publisher: AABG: Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Place of Publication: Bundoora, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 070201 Animal Breeding
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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Series Name: Proceedings of the AAABG ... Conference
Series Number : 21
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