This study determined colostrum production of lactating primiparous and multiparous Holstein dairy cows, as well as the predictability of full lactation milk yield based upon this colostrum production. Holstein cows that calved between December 18, 2006 and December 24, 2007 (n = 134) had their first two post-partum milkings weighed and assayed for density. Cows then entered normal production groups and were assessed for milk yield and milk components every 4 or 5 weeks for the duration of their lactation. Primiparous cows produced less colostrum (10.6 versus 13.6 kg; P = 0.02) and density adjusted (DA) colostrum (5.2 versus 8.5 kg; P <0.01), but there were no differences in estimated 305 day mature equivalent (305ME) milk production (mean = 13,654 kg) or lactation lengths (mean = 301 days) between parities. Colostrum and DA colostrum were poor estimators of subsequent 305ME milk production within primiparous cows (r2 = 0.20 and 0.01 respectively) and multiparous cows (r2 = 0.18 and 0.12 respectively). Colostrum production of these high producing cows was somewhat lower than expected, highly variable among cows within parity, higher for multiparous versus primiparous cows, and was not a good estimator of subsequent 305ME milk production.
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2009|