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Fitting Lactation Curves Of Dairy Cattle In Different Types Of Herds In Tunisia

B. Rekik, A. B. Gara, M. B. Hamouda, H. Hammami
Published 2003 · Biology

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The incomplete gamma function was used to fit lactation curves of Holstein–Friesian cows in four types of herds in Tunisia. A total of 8640 records were used in the analysis. These included 1269, 637, 239, and 498 first lactation and 2986, 1441, 650, and 920 second and later lactation records in four herd groups namely investors, state, cooperative, and farmers’ herds, respectively. The effects of environmental variables, production sector, herd, parity, first test-day date, calving year, and calving season on the main lactation curve traits were analysed. The factors associated with milk yield at the beginning of lactation and the decreasing phase of the curve, persistency, and peak yield varied significantly (P<0.01) with all variables. The ascending phase of the lactation curve was not affected by parity and calving year, while days in milk until peak depended only on the rank of lactation. The state herds had the lowest peak and total yields. The summer season was unfavourable for milk production. In contrast to first lactation cows, third lactation cows had the highest peak and total yields. Milk yield was highly correlated with peak yield (r=0.79) and was not related to persistency measure.
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