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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

The relationship between water buffalo cow temperament and milk yield and quality traits

de Lima Carvalhal, Monique Valeria; Sant'Anna, Aline Cristina; Pascoa, Adriano Gomes; Jung, Jens; Rodrigues Paranhos da Costa, Mateus Jose

Abstract

The aims of this study were to assess the relationship between reactivity during milking and daily distances traveled by lactating water buffalo cows and to assess the association of these behavioral traits with milk yield and quality traits. Reactivity during milking was measured as a 4-point milking reactivity score (MRS, N=114 cows) where 1=stands quietly, 2=slight hind leg movements, 3=vigorous hind leg movements, and 4=continual vigorous hind leg movements or the stockperson ties the animal. Cows were classified according to their consistency for MRS within each month as 1) inconsistent (same MRS in fewer than 50% of observations), 2) moderately consistent (same MRS in 50-74.9% of observations), or 3) consistent (same MRS in at least 75% of observations). GPS collars were used to calculate the average daily distance traveled (DDT) by each cow (N=36). Milk yield and quality traits (fat, protein and lactose content, as well as somatic cell count) were measured once a month during the three months of the study. Results showed that DDT was not related to MRS (F=0.78, P=0.47). Furthermore, MRS was negatively associated with milk yield (F-2,(66)=3.75; P=0.02), fat content (F-2,(71)=3.34; P=0.04), and linear somatic cell score (LSCS) (F-2,(69)=4.06; P=0.02). Reactive cows (MRS 3+4) had lower daily milk yield than MRS 1 cows, with lower fat content and higher LSCL than MRS 2 cows. On the other hand, DDT was not associated with milk yield or any quality traits (P > 0.05) other than LSCS (R-2=0.60; P < 0.05). Since MRS and DDT were not correlated, we conclude that these traits reflect distinct aspects of water buffalo cows' temperament. Milk yield and quality were not related to DDT, indicating that only MRS was associated with the productive traits in lactating water buffalo cows.

Keywords

Animal behavior; Bubalus bubalis; Daily distance traveled; Milk production; Reactivity; Somatic cell count

Published in

Livestock Science
2017, Volume: 198, pages: 109-114
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2017.02.016

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/82753