Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Effects of feeding treatment on growth rate and performance of primiparous Holstein dairy heifers

Abstract : The objective of this study was to investigate effects of feeding-rearing programs that aim for first calving at 20-27 months (mo) of age on growth, reproduction and production performance of Holstein cows at nulliparous and primiparous stages. We hypothesised that, in a seasonal autumn-calving strategy, heifers born late in the season could catch up to the growth of heifers born earlier and be inseminated during the same period, at a body weight (BW) of at least 370 kg. This approach would result in first calving age at 21-22 mo of age without impairing their later performance. To test this hypothesis, we studied 217 heifers over 3 years. They were split into three treatment groups: control feeding (SD), an intensive-plane diet (ID1) from birth to 6 mo of age or an intensive-plane diet from birth to one year of age. Heifers in groups SD and ID1 were born from September until the end of November, while those in ID2 were born later. The present study showed that late-born heifers (ID2) could catch up with the growth of the others due to the feeding treatment, although they were still 42 kg lighter than the SD and ID1 heifers at first calving. No difference in reproductive performance was observed among groups. Once primiparous, the cows reared with the ID2 treatment tended to produce less milk than SD and ID1 cows (ca. 400 kg less on a 305 d basis throughout lactation), and no differences in milk composition, feed intake, body condition score or BW were observed among groups. Age at first service (AFS) was classified a posteriori into three classes: 12.5 (AFS12.5), 14.0 (AFS14.0) and 15.5 mo (AFS15.5) of age. Heifers in AFS12.5 grew faster than those in AFS14.0 and AFS15.5. Once primiparous, the AFS12.5 cows tended to produce less milk at peak than AFS14.0 and AFS15.5 cows (ca. 1.5 kg/d less) although no difference in total milk yield during lactation was observed. No differences in milk composition, feed intake, body condition score or BW were observed among groups. These results support the conclusion that the feeding treatment can enable late-born heifers to catch up to the growth of heifers born earlier in the season. This strategy results in an earlier first calving that does not impair their reproductive performance but does decrease milk yield slightly during first lactation. Future studies should investigate long-term effects of this strategy.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03466957
Contributor : Emilie Bernard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, December 6, 2021 - 12:02:03 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 1:57:49 PM

File

LeCozler_2021.pdf
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Licence


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Yannick Le Cozler, Julien Jurquet, Nicolas Bedere. Effects of feeding treatment on growth rate and performance of primiparous Holstein dairy heifers. Peer Community Journal, Peer Community In/Centre Mersenne, 2021, 1, pp.e35. ⟨10.24072/pcjournal.14⟩. ⟨hal-03466957⟩

Share

Metrics

Les métriques sont temporairement indisponibles