The overall goal of this study was to investigate milk flow traits in Italian Holstein-Friesian cows and, in particular, the bimodality of milk flow, defined as delayed milk ejection at the start of milking. Using a milkometer, 2,886 records were collected from 133 herds in northern Italy from 2001 to 2007. All records included 5 time-period measurements for milk flow, somatic cell score (SCS), milk yield, 8 udder type traits, and the presence or absence of bimodality in milk flow. Genetic parameters were estimated using linear animal models for continuous traits such as milk flow, udder type, SCS, and milk production, whereas bimodality was analyzed as a categorical trait. With the exception of decreasing time (which had a very small heritability value of 0.06), heritability values for milk flow traits were moderate, ranging from 0.10 (ascending time) to 0.41 (maximum milk flow). In addition, moderate to high genetic correlations were estimated between total milking time and other time measures (from 0.78 to 0.87), and among time flow traits (from 0.62 to 0.91). The decreasing time was the trait most genetically correlated with udder type traits, with correlation values of 0.92 with rear udder height, 0.85 with rear udder width, and 0.73 with teat placement. Large udders with strong attachments were also associated with greater milk production. Heritability estimated for bimodality was 0.43, and its genetic correlation with milk flow traits and SCS indicated a sizable genetic component underlying this trait. Bimodality was negatively associated with milk production; shorter milking times and greater peak milk levels were genetically correlated with more frequent bimodal flows, indicating that faster milk release would result in an increase in bimodal patterns. The negative genetic correlation of bimodality with SCS (-0.30) and the genetic correlation between milk flow traits and SCS suggest that the relationship between milkability and SCS is probably nonlinear and that intermediate flow rates are optimal with respect to mastitis susceptibility. Quicker milk flow over a shorter period would increase the frequency of bimodal curves in milking, whereas the correlation between bimodality and both ascending and descending time was less clear.

Bimodality and the genetics of milk flow traits in the Italian Holstein-Friesian breed / A.B. Samoré, S.I. Román-Ponce, F. Vacirca, E. Frigo, F. Canavesi, A. Bagnato, C. Maltecca. - In: JOURNAL OF DAIRY SCIENCE. - ISSN 0022-0302. - 94:8(2011 Aug), pp. 4081-4089. [10.3168/jds.2010-3611]

Bimodality and the genetics of milk flow traits in the Italian Holstein-Friesian breed

A.B. Samoré
Primo
;
S.I. Román-Ponce
Secondo
;
F. Vacirca;E. Frigo;F. Canavesi;A. Bagnato
Penultimo
;
C. Maltecca
Ultimo
2011-08

Abstract

The overall goal of this study was to investigate milk flow traits in Italian Holstein-Friesian cows and, in particular, the bimodality of milk flow, defined as delayed milk ejection at the start of milking. Using a milkometer, 2,886 records were collected from 133 herds in northern Italy from 2001 to 2007. All records included 5 time-period measurements for milk flow, somatic cell score (SCS), milk yield, 8 udder type traits, and the presence or absence of bimodality in milk flow. Genetic parameters were estimated using linear animal models for continuous traits such as milk flow, udder type, SCS, and milk production, whereas bimodality was analyzed as a categorical trait. With the exception of decreasing time (which had a very small heritability value of 0.06), heritability values for milk flow traits were moderate, ranging from 0.10 (ascending time) to 0.41 (maximum milk flow). In addition, moderate to high genetic correlations were estimated between total milking time and other time measures (from 0.78 to 0.87), and among time flow traits (from 0.62 to 0.91). The decreasing time was the trait most genetically correlated with udder type traits, with correlation values of 0.92 with rear udder height, 0.85 with rear udder width, and 0.73 with teat placement. Large udders with strong attachments were also associated with greater milk production. Heritability estimated for bimodality was 0.43, and its genetic correlation with milk flow traits and SCS indicated a sizable genetic component underlying this trait. Bimodality was negatively associated with milk production; shorter milking times and greater peak milk levels were genetically correlated with more frequent bimodal flows, indicating that faster milk release would result in an increase in bimodal patterns. The negative genetic correlation of bimodality with SCS (-0.30) and the genetic correlation between milk flow traits and SCS suggest that the relationship between milkability and SCS is probably nonlinear and that intermediate flow rates are optimal with respect to mastitis susceptibility. Quicker milk flow over a shorter period would increase the frequency of bimodal curves in milking, whereas the correlation between bimodality and both ascending and descending time was less clear.
Bimodality; Genetic parameter; Holstein-Friesian cow; Milk flow
Settore AGR/17 - Zootecnica Generale e Miglioramento Genetico
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/204239
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