Browsing by Subject "dairy cattle"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-13 of 13
  • Smaragdov, Michael G.; Kudinov, Andrei A.; Uimari, Pekka (2018)
    Holstein bulls and semen have been imported to Russia from Western countries since the 1970s. The objective of our study was to examine the effect of this introgression on genetic diversity between various commercial Holstein herds in the Leningrad region. A total of 803 Holstein cows from 13 herds were genotyped using the Illumina BovineSNP50 v.2 array. The pairwise Hudson's estimator of F-st values between 13 herds varied from 0.002 to 0.015, which is less than values usually obtained between dairy cattle breeds (> 0.1). The mean of these pairwise F-st values revealed differences between herds depending, mainly, on the proportion of common sires shared between the herds. In addition, we investigated the cause of negative F-st values. Based on our results, these negative values could be interpreted as an excess of within-herd genetic diversity over the between-herds genetic diversity. Our results show that introgressions of Holstein genes into Russian Black and White cattle of the Leningrad region have created genetic separation between herds similar with those for Jersey cows in USA, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Barragan, A. A.; Pineiro, J. M.; Schuenemann, G. M.; Rajala-Schultz, P. J.; Sanders, D. E.; Lakritz, J.; Bas, S. (2018)
    The objectives of the present case-control study were to assess (1) daily activity patterns (lying time, number of steps, number of lying bouts, and lying bout duration), and (2) circulating concentrations of biomarkers of pain (substance P), inflammation (haptoglobin), and stress (cortisol) in lactating dairy cows diagnosed with clinical metritis. Lactating dairy cows (n = 200) from 2 commercial dairy herds were enrolled in the present study. Cows diagnosed with clinical metritis (n = 100) at 7 +/- 3 d in milk were matched according to lactation and days in milk to cows without clinical metritis (NO-CM; n = 100). On study d 1, clinical metritis was diagnosed (using a Metricheck device, Simcro Tech Ltd., Hamilton, New Zealand) by the presence of watery, reddish, or brownish foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and blood samples were collected for assessment of circulating concentration of substance P, haptoglobin, cortisol, total calcium, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and blood cells. In addition, on study d 1 body condition of cows was visually assessed, and activity monitors were placed on the hind leg of a subset of cows (CM, n = 56; CON, n = 56) and were kept until study d 7. Cows showing any other signs of other diseases were not included in the study. Cows with clinical metritis tended to spend more time lying (CM = 628.92 min/d; NO-CM = 591.23 min/d) compared with NO-CM cows. Activity analysis by parity revealed that primiparous cows with clinical metritis spent more time lying compared with primiparous cows without clinical metritis. However, no differences in daily lying time were observed between multiparous cows with and without clinical metritis. Furthermore, cows in the CM group had a higher circulating concentration of substance P (CM = 47.15 pg/mL; NO-CM = 37.73 pg/mL) arid haptoglobin (CM = 233.00 mu g/mL; NO-CM = 99.98 mu g/mL) when compared with NO-CM cows. Cows with clinical metritis had lower body condition score, and a greater proportion of cows in this group had hypocalcemia when compared with cows without clinical metritis. The circulating concentration of leukocytes and erythrocytes were decreased in cows with clinical metritis compared with cows without clinical metritis. Results from this study showed that concentrations of markers of inflammation, stress, pain, and activity were affected in cows diagnosed with clinical metritis; thus, strategies aimed to minimize the negative effects associated with clinical metritis may be required to improve the welfare of dairy cows.
  • Sampolahti, Sani (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    In this study the economic values for the breeding goal traits for Finnish Ayrshire cattle were determined by the bioeconomical model. Additionally, the economic value was determined for a new trait, feed efficiency, which was modelled as residual feed intake (RFI). Feed efficiency was added to breeding goals because of intrest in reduction of harmful environmental effects of dairy cattle production. The effect of increasing feed costs on the economic weights was also studied. Economic values were determined by the program ECOWEIGHT. The bioeconomical model included 21 traits, which can be divided a few categories: milk production traits, growth and carcass traits and functional traits (calving difficulty, stillbirth, calf mortality in the rearing period, fertility traits, productive lifetime of cows, incidence of clinical mastitis, somatic cell score (SCS) and residual feed intake (RFI)). Economic values and standardized economic weights were defined for the traits. Profitability of the milk production was negative (?13,3%), when the subsidies were not included in the calculations. Adding RFI didn’t have any effect on the economic values of the other traits and it didn’t change the order of the traits in standardized economical weight. The marginal economic values for RFI of cows and heifers were ?55,8 and ?24,9 €/kg/d, respectively. The highest relative economic weights was found for 305-d milk (36%), protein (14%), fat (9%), mature weight (7%) and calving interval (5%). Relative economic weights for RFI of cows and heifers were 4,6% and 1,5%, respectively. An increase in the feeding costs (10, 30 and 50%) changed the order of the traits in standardized economical weights. The weights of milk production traits were decreased and the weights of growth traits, RFI and calving interval were increased. RFI of cows was the fifth important trait when feeding costs increased 30%. According to the results of this study would be beneficial, especially if the relative im-portance of feed efficiency will increase in the future due to increasing feed costs or in-creasing requirements to mitigate the environmental impact of milk production. However, more research will be needed before adding RFI to the breeding goals.
  • Mantysaari, P.; Mantysaari, E. A.; Kokkonen, T.; Mehtio, T.; Kajava, S.; Grelet, C.; Lidauer, P.; Lidauer, M. H. (2019)
    The inclusion of feed intake and efficiency traits in dairy cow breeding goals can lead to increased risk of metabolic stress. An easy and inexpensive way to monitor postpartum energy status (ES) of cows is therefore needed. Cows' ES can be estimated by calculating the energy balance from energy intake and output and predicted by indicator traits such as change in body weight (Delta BW), change in body condition score (Delta BCS), milk fat:protein ratio (FPR), or milk fatty acid (FA) composition. In this study, we used blood plasma nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) concentration as a biomarker for ES. We determined associations between NEFA concentration and ES indicators and evaluated the usefulness of body and milk traits alone, or together, in predicting ES of the cow. Data were collected from 2 research herds during 2013 to 2016 and included 137 Nordic Red dairy cows, all of which had a first lactation and 59 of which also had a second lactation. The data included daily body weight, milk yield, and feed intake and monthly BCS. Plasma samples for NEFA were collected twice in lactation wk 2 and 3 and once in wk 20. Milk samples for analysis of fat, protein, lactose, and FA concentrations were taken on the blood sampling days. Plasma NEFA concentration was higher in lactation wk 2 and 3 than in wk 20 (0.56 +/- 0.30, 0.43 +/- 0.22, and 0.13 +/- 0.06 mmol/L, respectively; all means +/- standard deviation). Among individual indicators, C18:1 cis-9 and the sum of C18:1 in milk had the highest correlations (r = 0.73) with NEFA. Seven multiple linear regression models for NEFA prediction were developed using stepwise selection. Of the models that included milk traits (other than milk FA) as well as body traits, the best fit was achieved by a model with milk yield, FPR, Delta BW, Delta BCS, FPR x Delta BW, and days in milk. The model resulted in a cross-validation coefficient of determination (R(2)cv) of 0.51 and a root mean squared error (RMSE) of 0.196 mmol/L. When only milk FA concentrations were considered in the model, NEFA prediction was more accurate using measurements from evening milk than from morning milk (R(2)cv = 0.61 vs. 0.53). The best model with milk traits contained FPR, C10:0, C14:0, C18:1 cis-9, C18:1 cis-9 x C14:0, and days in milk (R(2)cv = 0.62; RMSE = 0.177 mmol/L). The most advanced model using both milk and body traits gave a slightly better fit than the model with only milk traits (R(2)cv = 0.63; RMSE = 0.176 mmol/L). Our findings indicate that ES of cows in early lactation can be monitored with moderately high accuracy by routine milk measurements.
  • Kudinov, Andrei A.; Juga, Jarmo; Mäntysaari, Esa A.; Stranden, Ismo; Saksa, Ekaterina I.; Smaragdov, Michael G.; Uimari, Pekka (2018)
    Mixed linear models have been applied for predicting breeding values of dairy cattle in most of the developed countries since the 1980s. However, the Russian Federation is still using the old contemporary comparison method. The objective of our study was to develop a best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) for an animal model of breeding values for the Leningrad region. We tested both a first-lactation model (FLM) and a multi-lactation repeatability model (MLM). The data included milk records of 206 114 cows from 49 herds. Estimated heritabilities from FLM were 0.24, 0.20, and 0.20 for milk, protein, and fat yields, respectively, and 0.18, 0.19, and 0.20 from MLM. Repeatabilities were 0.34 for milk yield and 0.31 for both fat and protein yields. Genetic trends were similar for both models (FLM vs MLM): 59 vs 56 kg year(-1) for milk, 1.90 vs 1.84 kg year(-1) for fat, and 1.67 vs 1.62 kg year(-1) for protein yield during 2000-2016. Based on the difference between the genetic trends in FLM and MLM, the applied BLUP method passed the validation method I by Interbull.
  • Fant, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The aim of this master’s thesis was to investigate the potential of reducing enteric methane production from dairy cows by replacing barley grain with oat grain on a grass silage-based diet. The effects of grain species on in vitro methane production, digestibility, pH and volatile fatty acid (VFA) production pattern were investigated and a regression analysis was performed to entangle possible methane mitigating mechanisms of oats. The study was conducted in the laboratory at the Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden in the autumn of 2016. An in vitro gas production system was applied, consisting of 16 diets with two replicates, four blanks and three runs, each with a three-day incubation time. The feed material consisted of eight varieties of barley, eight varieties of oats and timothy silage incubated at a grain/silage ratio of 1:1 on a dry matter basis. Rumen fluid was collected from two cannulated Nordic Red dairy cows after morning feeding. Gas sampling was performed at 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 32 and 48 hours of incubation, meanwhile VFA-sampling, pH-measurements and sampling of incubation residues were performed at 48 hours. Methane production was estimated as predicted in vivo methane production and stoichiometrically predicted methane production. The in vitro digestibility was determined as true dry matter digestibility (TDMD). Content of indigestible neutral detergent fiber (iNDF) was determined by applying a 12-day in situ incubation in two Ayrshire dairy cows. Oats had a higher content of crude protein, neutral detergent fiber (NDF), iNDF and fat compared to barley, whereas barley had a higher content of starch. Replacing barley with oats decreased predicted in vivo methane production by 9% and stoichiometrically predicted methane production by 11%. Variety within grain was not found to have any significant effect on methane production. True DM digestibility and total VFA production were lower in oat-based diets compared to barley-based diets. No significant differences were observed between the diets considering VFA molar proportions. The pH was lower in barley-based diets compared to oat-based diets. True DM digestibility was the best predictor of methane production. Among grain composition parameters, iNDF content was the best predictor of methane production, followed by NDF. Crude fat content also predicted methane production relatively well. Based on the results of this experiment, it can be concluded that replacing barley grain with oat grain in the diet of dairy cows has a potential to lower methane production predicted in vitro. Furthermore, the methane mitigating effect observed in this experiment is at least partly due to the higher fat content and lower digestibility of oats compared to barley.
  • Hietala, P.; Juga, J. (2017)
    Improving feed efficiency in dairy cattle could result in more profitable and environmentally sustainable dairy production through lowering feed costs and emissions from dairy farming. In addition, beef production based on dairy herds generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit of meat output than beef production from suckler cow systems. Different scenarios were used to assess the profitability of adding traits, excluded from the current selection index for Finnish Ayrshire, to the breeding goal for combined dairy and beef production systems. The additional breeding goal traits were growth traits (average daily gain of animals in the fattening and rearing periods), carcass traits (fat covering, fleshiness and dressing percentage), mature live weight (LW) of cows and residual feed intake (RFI) traits. A breeding scheme was modeled for Finnish Ayrshire under the current market situation in Finland using the deterministic simulation software ZPLAN+. With the economic values derived for the current production system, the inclusion of growth and carcass traits, while preventing LW increase generated the highest improvement in the discounted profit of the breeding program (3.7%), followed by the scenario where all additional traits were included simultaneously (5.1%). The use of a selection index that included growth and carcass traits excluding LW, increased the profit (0.8%), but reduced the benefits resulted from breeding for beef traits together with LW. A moderate decrease in the profit of the breeding program was obtained when adding only LW to the breeding goal (-3.1%), whereas, adding only RFI traits to the breeding goal resulted in a minor increase in the profit (1.4%). Including beef traits with LW in the breeding goal showed to be the most potential option to improve the profitability of the combined dairy and beef production systems and would also enable a higher rate of self-sufficiency in beef. When considering feed efficiency related traits, the inclusion of LW traits in the breeding goal that includes growth and carcass traits could be more profitable than the inclusion of RFI, because the marginal costs of measuring LW can be expected to be lower than for RFI and it is readily available for selection. In addition, before RFI can be implemented as a breeding objective, the genetic correlations between RFI and other breeding goal traits estimated for the studied population as well as information on the most suitable indicator traits for RFI are needed to assess more carefully the consequences of selecting for RFI.
  • Frondelius, Lilli; Hietaoja, Juha Kalevi; Pastell, Matti; Hänninen, Laura Talvikki; Anttila, Paula; Mononen, Jaakko (2018)
    This Research Communication describes the effect of post-operative pain and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatment on heart rate variability (HRV) of dairy cows. Postoperative pain in farm animals is often left untreated, and HRV could be a promising tool for assessing pain. The aim of this study was to assess if postoperative state after subcutaneous surgery affects HRV in dairy cows and to determine whether this could be modulated by NSAID. Nine cows were inserted with an implantable electrocardiograph logger. Cows were divided into the NSAID treatment group and the control group. The cows in the NSAID group had higher HRV than the control group, indicating a higher sympathetic activity in control animals, most likely due to untreated post-operative pain. Besides the ethical need for treating pain in production animals, ongoing pain has an adverse effect on animal productivity. Thus post-operative pain alleviation is recommended.
  • Haapala, Vera; Vähänikkilä, Nella; Kulkas, Laura; Tuunainen, Erja; Pohjanvirta, Tarja; Autio, Tiina; Pelkonen, Sinikka; Soveri, Timo; Simojoki, Heli (2021)
    As Mycoplasma bovis spreads to new countries and becomes increasingly recognized as a disease with major welfare and economic effects, control measures on dairy farms are needed. To minimize the risk of infection spread to naive herds, all possible risk factors for M. bovis infection should be identified and controlled. Mycoplasma bovis was first diagnosed in dairy cattle in Finland in 2012, and by January 2020, 86 Finnish dairy farms (
  • Marshall, Karen; Salmon, G.R.; Tebug, Stanly; Juga, Jarmo; MacLeod, M.; Poole, Elizabeth Jane; Baltenweck, I.; Missohou, Ayao (2020)
    Senegal, located in West Africa, is an example of a low-to middle-income country where the govern-ment has prioritized improving livestock production self-sufficiency, with a strong focus on dairy. Among other initiatives, the use of exotic dairy cattle has been promoted, despite no evidence for the potential liveli-hood benefits (or otherwise) to smallholder farmers on adopting the new genetics. The current work fills this evidence gap by performing a farm-level economic study comparing the keeping of different breed and cross-breed types of dairy cattle under different management levels. Data for the study were obtained by monitoring 220 smallholder dairy cattle farms, with a combined cattle population of about 3,000 animals, over an almost 2-yr period. Findings of the study suggest that the most net-beneficial and cost-beneficial dairy cattle enterprise that could be used by the smallholder farmers was to keep crossbred indigenous zebu by exotic Bos taurus animals under management standards that are consid-ered good compared with local standards. This dairy enterprise type was 7.4-fold more net beneficial and had a 1.4-fold more favorable cost-benefit ratio than the traditional system of keeping indigenous zebu animals under poor (low-input) management. Interestingly, the keeping of (near) pure B. taurus dairy cattle resulted in the highest milk yields and thus benefit from milk, but was not the most net beneficial due to the high costs of keeping these animals, particularly in terms of feed. We also found that increasing the managementlevel of any of the breed or cross-breed types under consideration, including the indigenous zebu animals, resulted in an increased net benefit of 2.2-to 2.9-fold. Results of this economic analysis are discussed as part of a broader trade-off analysis, resulting in recommendations to strengthen the Senegal dairy sector. The combined intervention of improved dairy cattle genetics and management is considered a promising intervention to improve livelihoods of the rural poor as well as livestock production self-sufficiency for Senegal; some other system constraints are addressed.
  • Kallio, Sanni (Helsingfors universitet, 2008)
    Lypsylehmien sorkkaongelmat ovat nousseen viimevuosina esille, kun on huomattu miten yleisiä ne ovat ja miten paljon ne vaikuttavat lehmän hyvinvointiin ja tuotokseen. Ontuminen ja jalkaviat ovat yksi merkittävimmistä lehmän poiston syistä koko maidontuotantokauden ajan suomalaisissa lypsykarjoissa. Lypsykarjan sorkkaterveyteen liittyviä tutkimuksia on toteutettu paljon viimevuosina, mutta suomalaisia tutkimuksia aiheesta on vielä verrattaen vähän. Sorkkasairaudet jaetaan tartunnallisiin ja ei-tartunnallisiin sairauksiin. Ontumista aiheuttavia tartunnallisia sairauksia ovat ajotulehdus sekä sorkka-alueen ihotulehdus ja ei-tartunnallisia sairauksia ovat anturahaavauma, valkoviivan repeämä ja äkillinen kliininen sorkkakuume. Suomessa selvästi yleisimmät sorkkaongelmat ovat sorkkakuume ja siihen liittyvät sairaudet, kuten anturahaavauma, valkoviivan repeämä sekä tartunnallisista sairauksista ajotulehdus. Sorkka-alueen ihotulehdus on erittäin yleinen Keski-Euroopassa, mutta ei Pohjoismaissa. Sorkkaongelmat ovat karjakohtaisia ja olosuhteilla on keskeinen vaikutus sorkkasairauksien syntyyn. Tutkimuksia ympäristön vaikutuksesta ontumisen esiintymiseen on tehty paljon. Sorkkaongelmia edistäviä olosuhteisiin liittyviä seikkoja ovat esimerkiksi kuiva ja puhdas ympäristö, pehmeä kävely- ja makuualusta, säännöllinen sorkkahoito ja laidunnus. Perimällä ei ole suurta merkitystä sorkkasairauksien esiintymiseen. Yksilötasolla todennäköisyys ontumiselle on suurin ensimmäistä kertaa poikivilla hiehoilla ja vanhoilla lehmillä. Sorkkaongelmat seuraavat helposti seuraavalle lypsykaudelle. Holstein-friisiläiset ovat herkempiä sairastumaan sorkkasairauksiin kuin ayrshiret. Sorkkasairaudet ilmenevät todennäköisimmin takajalkojen ulkosorkissa ja ihotulehdukset takajaloissa sorkkien yläpuolella, kannassa tai sorkkien välissä. Sorkkasairaudet ajoittuvat poikimisen yhteyteen ja sen jälkeiseen korkean maidontuotannon vaiheeseen. Sisäruokintakaudella ilmenee enemmän ontumisia, kun laidunkaudella ja pihatoissa ilmenee enemmän sorkkaongelmia kuin parsinavetoissa. Ontuminen vähentää maitotuotosta, hidastaa tiinehtymistä ja pidentää poikimaväliä. Sorkkasairauksista on ristiriitaisia tutkimustuloksia ja eripuolilla maailmaa sairauksien merkitys ja jopa taudinkuva on erilainen, johtuen vaihtelevista olosuhteista. Eurooppalaisia ja Yhdysvaltalaisia tutkimuksia ei voi suoraan rinnastaa Suomen tilanteeseen, kun taas Pohjoismaisia tutkimuksia voi. Keski-Euroopan olosuhteet ovat erilaiset verrattuna Suomen ja Pohjoismaiden olosuhteisiin. Esimerkiksi Pohjoismaissa tartunnalliset sorkkasairaudet eivät ole niin merkittävässä asemassa, kuin muualla maailmassa. Kirjallisuuskatsauksesta saa hyvän yleiskuvan sorkkasairauksien merkityksestä yksittäisiin lehmiin ja kokonaisiin karjoihin sekä eri tautien merkittävyydestä Euroopassa ja Suomessa.
  • Paakala, Elina; Martin-Collado, Daniel; Mäki-Tanila, Asko; Juga, Jarmo (2018)
    Changing production circumstances, a wide range of traits and the international bull market enable dairy farmers to make increasingly specific choices concerning artificial insemination (AI) bulls. Finland is part of the joint Nordic dairy cattle breeding programme where in addition to yield, high emphasis is given to health, fertility, conformation and longevity. The aims of our study were (a) to investigate whether Finnish dairy farmers differ in their selection preferences for AI bull traits and can be clustered into herd groups, (b) to determine whether AI bull selection in different herd groups is in line with the Nordic Total Merit index (NTM) and (c) to analyse how the herd groups are related to herd characteristics. We used a statistical cluster analysis to analyse AI bull usage and to group herds according to each herd's bull selection profile determined by the traits' estimated breeding value (EBV) mean weighted by the number of inseminations for the various traits. We identified four herd groups in both Ayrshire (AY) and Holstein (HOL) breeds: Production, Fertility, All-rounders, and Conformation. The herds' bull selection profiles were mostly close to the NTM except in the Conformation herd groups where traits other than conformation were nearly neglected. This led to poorer expected genetic and economic outcomes than with the NTM selection. Conformation herds were a minority, but they were larger in herd size and investments had recently been made. The data suggest that either fine-tuning the weights in the NTM, forming alternative indices or developing a herd-specific total merit index (TMI) could fulfil the needs of very diverse herds.
  • Ojala, Vilma-Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    During early lactation diet is usually rich in protein to stimulate and support milk production. Increased milk production has been connected with negative energy balance and impaired fertility. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of concentrate crude protein (CP) level to dairy cow silage intake, milk production and energy balance in early lactation. The study was conducted in the experimental barn of MTT Agrifood Research Finland in Maaninka. The experiment started at October 2013 and finished at April 2014. The experiment lasted 70 days starting from parturition day. Fifty-five primiparous or multiparous Holstein and Ayrshire cows were allocated to one of three different CP levels in concentrate (149, 179 or 200 g/kg DM) after parturition. Concentrate allowance was 9 or 13 kg. Silage was fed ad libitum through an individual feeding system. Animals were weighed daily. Body condition score (BCS) was determined when blood samples were taken at 10 days before parturition and 7, 21, 42 and 63 days after parturition. The data were subjected to analysis of variance using the SAS MIXED procedure. Concentrate CP level did not affect silage intake or energy balance. Amino acids digestible from small intestine increased when CP level increased. Increasing CP content of concentrate tended to increase milk and protein yields suggestively. Milk protein yield and milk urea increased when concentrate CP level increased. Concentrate CP level had no significant effect on blood NEFA, BHBA, 3-MH or glucose concentration. There were no significant effects on live weight or BCS change throughout the experiment. Results of this experiment indicate that increasing concentrate CP level improves milk and protein yield in early lactation. In this experiment concentrate CP level did not affect silage intake or energy balance.