Differences between primiparous and multiparous cows in voluntary milking frequency in an automatic milking system
a conventional auto-tandem milking parlor, and an automatic milking system (AMS, milking robot). The results were analyzed
independent of the different feeding factors, because they were the same for all animals in both milking systems.
The results, separately analyzed for first-lactating and multiparous cows, can be summarized as follows:
First-lactating cows visited the automatic milking system more often (2.6 up to 3.5 times per day) than multiparous cows
(2.5 up to 2.9 times per day), but the increased milking frequency did not positively affect milk yield. Although multiparous
cows had a substantially higher FCM-yield (29.4 kg/day on average) than heifers (26.0 kg/day on average), they only went
to the automatic milking system on average 2.6 times per day. The amount of time needed for first-lactating and multiparous
cows to get used to the automatic milking system did not show a difference. They learned to visit the automatic
milking system voluntarily after one week. During the course of lactation, differences in milking frequency were detected
between first-lactating and multiparous cows. The milking frequency of multiparous cows was observed to be almost constant
during the entire lactation, on average 2.5 times per day. However, first-lactating cows increase the milking frequency
from the beginning (2.3 times per day) to the end of lactation (2.9 times per day), when the lactation is divided into three
periods of 100 days each. The automatic milking system affects uncorrected milk yield positively. The increase of milk yield
amounted up to 5.7% for primiparous cows in contrast to the multiparous cows with an increase of milk yield up to 3.1%.
But all these differences proved not to be significant. The FCM-yield for primiparous cows (25.8 kg/day and 26.0 kg/day)
and for multiparous cows (30.3 kg/day and 29.4 kg/day) were lower than the uncorrected milk yield, because the milk fat
content was significantly lower for cows milked in the AMS (4.03% in the AMS compared to 4.36% in the milking parlor).
But there were no differences in the FCM-yield and the milk fat content between first-lactating and multiparous cows.
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the Italian Journal of Animal Science [eISSN 1828-051X] is the official journal of the Animal Science and Production Association and it is published by PAGEPress®, Pavia, Italy. Reg. Pavia, n. 2/2010-INF. All credits and honors to PKP for their OJS.