Beef cows’ milk yield is typically determined by measuring milk yield once daily and then doubling this value to estimate daily production. However, it is not known whether this is accurate. Thus, we aimed to determine the association between morning and afternoon milk yield in grazing Nellore cows. Eighty Nellore cows were used, with initial weight of 516.0 ± 1.0 kg. The experiment was a completely randomized factorial scheme, with 20 replications and four treatments (i.e., + or − pre-partum supplementation in combination with + or − post-partum supplementation): PRMM—1 kg of supplement/cow/day for 90 days pre-partum; MMPS—1 kg of supplement/cow/day for 90 days post-partum; PRPS—1 kg of supplement/cow/day for 90 days pre-partum and 90 days post-partum; and MM—only mineral mix ad libitum during pre- and post-partum. Milk was sampled on days 45, 135, and 225 post-partum (early, middle, and late lactation, respectively). No effects were observed of pre- and post-partum supplementation on milk yield (P > 0.05). The afternoon/morning proportion of 0.45 in the early third of lactation was higher than other stages, which had a proportion of 0.41 (P < 0.05). Post-partum supplementation increased milk protein in the morning and afternoon milking (P < 0.05). There was also no effect of pre- and post-partum supplementation on afternoon-morning proportion other milk components (P > 0.05). We conclude that estimating daily milk production of grazing beef cattle by multiplying a once daily milking amount times two is not accurate. Under the conditions of this study, proportion of total daily production represented by the ratio of afternoon/morning milking was 0.45 in early lactation (first third) and 0.41 in mid- and late lactation.
Tropical Animal Health and Production – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2018
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