The aim of this study was to determine the interrelationships between milk yield, total digestible nutrient (TDN) intake and body weight. A total of 14,900 records of weekly (from the 1st week to 20th week after calving) weights of milk yield and TDN intake and body weight from 745 multiparous Holstein cows in Japan were used. In addition, attempts were made to predict energy requirement in early lactation of dairy cows using metabolizable energy (ME) system. The Wood's function (yt = atbe- ct) was fitted to each animal record to derive secondary traits (parameters, weeks at peak or bottom, maximum-minimum values and predicted daily body weight gain). The average goodness of fit, as assessed by the R2 value, was highest for TDN intake (0.82) and lowest for body weight (0.59). The weeks at peak milk yield and TDN intake and minimum weight were 6.0, 10.0 and 5.5, respectively. Phenotypic correlations within the same trait were negative between parameters a and b and positive between b and c. Relatively large correlations between traits were obtained for a values and maximum-minimum traits (maximum milk yield and TDN intake and minimum body weight). In addition, the phenotypic correlations between predicted daily gain and a value for milk yield were negative during the first 5 weeks after calving. A comparison of ME intakes estimated from Wood's function and ME intake predicted from energy systems showed that the mean-square prediction error (MSPE) was largest in the first week and smallest in the fourth week. The results suggest that the Wood's function is inadequate in predicting body weight changes in early lactation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology