The Main Factors Influencing Body Condition Score and its Accuracy of Measurement in Sub‐Tropical Dairy Cattle

Ivan Ward (2011). The Main Factors Influencing Body Condition Score and its Accuracy of Measurement in Sub‐Tropical Dairy Cattle MPhil Thesis, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Ivan Ward
Thesis Title The Main Factors Influencing Body Condition Score and its Accuracy of Measurement in Sub‐Tropical Dairy Cattle
School, Centre or Institute School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-09
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Dennis Poppi
David Barber
Total pages 114
Total colour pages 14
Total black and white pages 100
Language eng
Subjects 070204 Animal Nutrition
070203 Animal Management
Abstract/Summary The objective of this study was to investigate body condition score (BCS) at calving, the BCS profile during lactation, BCS effect on milk production, the main factors affecting BCS during lactation, and other measurements of BCS. BCS (scale 1 to 8) is a visual assessment of a cow’s body reserves and previous nutritional status. Genetic selection for higher milk production has indirectly selected cows which lose more BCS early in lactation to support milk production at the expense of reproductive efficiency. BCS at calving and monthly BCS during lactation were recorded at Mudtapilly Research Farm in 162 Holstein dairy cows. Individual cow milk production and composition data were recorded monthly. BCS at calving was negatively related to BCS change during lactation and positively related to calculated energy balance. In the second study, farm milk production records and climatic data was used to investigate factors affecting BCS during lactation on four commercial dairy farms in south-east Queensland. The main factor affecting herd BCS was the quality and nutritional characteristics of the concentrate fed to the cows during lactation. Similarly, the main factors affecting milk yield and composition were the quality and quantity of the cow’s diet. In the final experiment, other measurements of BCS were investigated and showed that physical cow measurements have the potential to replace visual BCS. Overall, this study has shown that BCS is a repeatable measurement of a cow’s body reserves and is a useful measurement in herd management, especially in early lactation. A system of management was devised to better manage dairy cows of varying genetic merit in relation to their BCS at calving.
Keyword body condition score
Dairy Cows
Feeding Systems
Additional Notes Colour pages (14 pages) 29, 31,47, 48, 49, 53, 54, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71, 72, 74 Landscape (5 pages) 29, 44, 61, 90, 94

 
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Created: Fri, 20 Apr 2012, 14:11:02 EST by Ivan Ward on behalf of Library - Information Access Service