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The Effect of Fatness of Cows on their Milk Production
Oleg K Gogaev1,2*, Valeriy R Kairov1,2, Albina R Demurova1 and Tereza A Kadieva1
1 Gorsky State Agrarian University, RNO-Alania, Vladikavkaz, Russia
2North Caucasus Research Institute of Mining and Foothill Agriculture, Vladikavkaz Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences Williams Street, Russia
Submission: January 23, 2019;Published: March 12, 2019
*Corresponding author: Oleg K Gogaev, North Caucasus Research Institute of Mining and Foothill Agriculture - a branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution of Science of the Federal Scientific Center “Vladikavkaz Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences”, Gorsky State Agrarian University, 363110, RNO-Alania, Prigorodny district, Mikhailovskoye village, Williams Street, Russia
How to cite this article: Oleg K G, Valeriy R K, Albina R D, Tereza A K. The Effect of Fatness of Cows on their Milk Production. Dairy and Vet Sci J. 2019;
10(4): 555793. DOI: 10.19080/JDVS.2019.10.555793
Cows feeding conditions and welfare should be emphasized among the numerous external factors affecting their milk productivity. High lactation performance of the cows requires the continuous presence in the blood of an animal of the substances needed for the milk production. This is provided by organization of quite abundant and continuous feeding of cows and the introduction in the animal rations of various components that allows balancing them in terms of all nutrients and bioactive substances needed by the body. Feeding cows with a complete feed should be carried out during the whole period of their economic use, because it is extremely difficult to correct the metabolic disorders caused by insufficient feeding as well as to get healthy calves in such a situation. In addition, metabolic disorders in the cow and calf due to improper diet increase the risk of developing non-communicable diseases.
The primary method of determining the physiological status of dairy cows is body condition score. To determine the fatness of cows, analysis of the dairy herd condition at “Ossetia” livestock farm located in Prigorodny district of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania was carried out. Based on the primary zootechnical documentation, the following parameters were studied: productivity of cows of different lactations, the live weight of cows, fatness of cows, as well as the effect of fatness on milk production. Cow fatness evaluation technique developed by the All-Russian Institute of Animal Husbandry (VIZh) was used. The studies showed that the highest milk yields were observed in cows with fatness score of 3.6-4.0 points and amounted to 4584kg. The cows with the fatness score of 3.6-4.0 points were characterized by the longest duration of economic use. The best economic efficiency was noted in cows with the fatness score of 3.6-4.0 points.
Keywords: GS: Genomic Selection; LD: Linkage Disequilibrium; QTL: Quantitative Trait Loci; SNP: Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms; GEBV: Genomic Breeding Values; MAF: Minor Allele Frequency
Livestock production is biotechnology, which represents a system, where the main place is occupied by an animal. Without system-based implementations of zootechnical and veterinary science achievements, the proper organization of feeding and welfare, as well as application of progressive forms of labor organization, it is impossible to fulfill genetic potential inherent in the animals. The major line in the development of dairy cattle breeding is its sustainable intensification. The efficiency of this process depends on implementation of the following development patterns:
a. Full implementation and increasing the genetic potential of dairy cattle.
b. Rich and biologically complete feeding of animals.
c. Procurement in sufficient quantity of quality feed.
d. Implementation of rational technologies.
Prolonged use of cows which calve every year and retain a stable and high milk yield during many lactation periods is the key to success in dairy farming and a full supplying of food to the population. Feeding has the greatest effect on milk productivity of cows among all other environmental factors. For animal husbandry, not only the quantity but mainly the quality of the feed is important, i.e. feed value determined by nutrient content. Adequate rations and forages are those containing all substances necessary for the animal body and capable of ensuring the normal realization of all animal physiological functions for a long time [1,2].
Body condition score is an in vivo method for determining the physiological status of dairy cows. The level of fat and muscle tissues development in animals is meant under the fatness of
cows. Fatness score is determined by visual examination and
handling the animal at particular reference points on the body
characterized by maximum fat deposits. Such sites on the body
are called handling sites. In cattle they are found in the tailhead,
ischial tuberosities, pelvic area, hips, lumbar spine, ribs, and
dewlap. With increasing fatness, fat accumulation in different
body parts is uneven. In the first place fat is stored in the back
and then in the middle and anterior parts of the animal body .
Analysis of the dairy herd condition at “Ossetia” livestock farm
located in Prigorodny district of the Republic of North Ossetia-
Alania was carried out. Based on the primary zootechnical
documentation, the following parameters were studied:
a. Productivity of cows of different lactations.
b. Live weight and fatness of cows, as well as the effect of
fatness of cows on milk production.
A total of 106 cows of the second lactation and older were
studied. To carry out experiments at “Ossetia” livestock farm
located in Prigorodny district, 4 groups of animals of the second
calving and older were selected based on the principle of
analogues, on average 22 heads in each group. The first group
consisted of animals with the body condition score of 2.0-2.5
points; the second - 2.6-3.0; the third - 3.1-3.5, and the fourth
- 3.6-4.0 points. Body condition score assessing methodology
proposed by All-Russian Institute of Animal Husbandry (VIZh)
 was used. Animals were classified by a 5-point scale (with the
graduation interval of 0.5 points) where 1 point corresponded
to exhaustion, while 5 points corresponded to excessive obesity.
The assessed parameters of milk production included milk yield,
fat, protein, quantity of milk fat and lifetime milk production of
cows under study. Milk yield, mass fraction of fat and protein in
milk for the testing day was recorded at the 3rd and 5th months
of lactation. Body condition score of cows was determined during
the same periods.
The production of quality milk and dairy products is
dependent on high genetic potential of dairy cattle, its complete
feeding, contemporary technologies of animal exploitation in
farms, and the advanced technologies of milk processing. The
milk production of cows depends on their breed characteristics,
feeding and handling conditions. It increases with increasing of
milk yield; one of the main factors being the abundant feeding
in winter and summer periods. Proper organization of feeding
the cows is of great economic importance. Cows must be fed
continuously so as to make full use of their productive capacities.
The milk productivity of cows decreases with a lack of energy
in the diet declining especially rapidly when it is unbalanced
in protein. Milk yields reduce even more essentially with a
simultaneous deficit of energy and protein in the diet. Complete
feed assumes the presence of 100-110 g of digestible protein
per one fodder unit of the diet . In “Ossetia” livestock farm,
the rations for dairy cows do not differ from diets of nonmilking
cows in terms of feed composition. Per 100 kg of live weight,
dairy cows are fed 1.5-2.5kg of fibrous feed and 4.0-5.0 kg of
silage. The diet of cows includes draf in the rate of 30kg per head.
Concentrates are normalized depending on the level of milk
production: 150-250g of concentrate is used per 1kg of milk.
Body condition score is an in vivo method for determining
the physiological status of dairy cows. The animal fatness
changes during lactation and the interlactation periods, its
dynamics affects the reproductive ability of cows, the nature of
the lactation activities, milk composition, metabolic diseases,
and duration of economic use. Body condition score is a useful
tool in determining the balance of animals’ diets and modes of
exploitation. Milk production depending on the quantitative
assessment of the fatness of cows was studied. The research
results are presented in Table 1.
It is known that in the first three months after calving the
cow acutely suffers from a lack of metabolic energy, since the
increase in milk yield is well ahead of the amount of consumed
feed, and the cow is forced to use the internal reserves of the
body for milk production. From this point of view, the more fat
deposits, the higher metabolic energy reserves, the greater the
body capabilities. The results of the research performed showed
that the increase of body fatness of Black-and-White breed cows
up to 4.0 points was accompanied by an increase in milk yields.
Thus, milk production of the cows with fatness of 3.6-4.0 points
was 906, 732 and 476 kg higher than that in animals of the other
groups, 19.8%, 15.9% and 10.4%, respectively. It should be noted
that in the “Ossetia” livestock farm, no animals were identified
among the cows of Black-and-White breed with fatness above
4.0 points. This suggests that cows of this breed were selected
especially for intensive milk production and high milk yields per
lactation. This does not allow the animal to make nutrients and
metabolic energy reserves in the body at the expense of excessive
fat deposits in the subcutaneous tissue and the omentum.
Besides, it should be noted that the productive longevity of
the studied cows was also increased with increasing fatness of
animals to 4.0 points. As it is obvious from Table 1, the lowest
productive longevity was noted in the cows, whose fatness was
2.0-2.5 points and amounted to 2.4 lactation periods, while the
highest productive longevity was in the cows with fatness of 3.6- 4.0 points and amounted to 4.1 lactation periods. Accordingly,
they were superior to the animals with lower fatness in terms
of lifetime milk production. For the period of their use, these
animals gave 18794.4 kg of milk that is 19-46% higher than the
lifetime milk production of lower fatness cows in other groups.
The data obtained in the present research allow making the
a. The average milk productivity of the studied cows
amounted to 4359 kg with a fat content of 3.66% at an average
live weight of 476kg.
b. The highest milk yields were observed in the cows with
the fatness of 3.6-4.0 points and amounted to 4584kg.
c. The highest duration of economic use was noted in
cows with the fatness of 3.6-4.0 points.
Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that milk
productivity and duration of economic use depend to a large
degree on fatness of animals. In view of this, the optimal feeding
conditions and welfare of cows should be made to fully realize the
potential of animals in terms of productivity and the extension of
their economic use.