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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

A randomized study on the effect of extended voluntary waiting period in primiparous dairy cows on milk yield during first and second lactation

Rasmussen, A. Edvardsson; Holtenius, K.; Bage, R.; Strandberg, E.; Akerlind, M.; Kronqvist, C.


Extending the voluntary waiting period (VWP) for primiparous cows can have a positive impact on fertil-ity without a negative impact on milk production per day in the calving interval (CInt). We investigated the effect of extended VWP during first lactation on milk yield (MY) during 2 consecutive lactations in primipa-rous cows. The study involved 16 commercial herds in southern Sweden. A total of 533 Holstein and Red dairy cattle (Swedish Red, Danish Red, Ayrshire) dairy cows were randomly assigned to a conventional 25 to 95 d VWP (n = 252) or extended 145 to 215 d VWP (n = 281). Data on calvings, inseminations, and test-day yields were retrieved from the Swedish Milk Record -ing System. Cows with VWP according to plan and completing 1 or 2 CInt with a second or third calving were included in the data analysis. Whole lactation and 305-d energy-corrected milk (ECM) yield were higher for the extended VWP group than the conventional VWP group in both the first lactation (12,307 vs. 9,587 and 9,653 vs. 9,127 kg ECM) and second lactation (12,817 vs. 11,986 and 11,957 vs. 11,304 kg ECM). We found no difference between the VWP groups in MY per day during the first CInt or during the first and second CInt combined, although MY per day during the second CInt was around 1.5 kg higher for cows with extended VWP than for cows with conventional VWP. Thus extended VWP for primiparous cows can be used as a management tool without compromising MY.


extended calving interval; extended lactation; lactation length; milk production

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2023, Volume: 106, number: 4, pages: 2510-2518