Pasture-based Holstein–Friesian cows from three genetic groups differing in the Irish ‘Economic Breeding Index’ (EBI) value and genetic background, namely North-American (NA) national average EBI genetic merit (LOW-NA, n = 42), North-American high EBI genetic merit (HIGH-NA, n = 42) and New Zealand (NZ) high EBI genetic merit (HIGH-NZ, n = 42), were studied. These genetic groups have been selected in different environments: pasture for NZ and confinement for NA. The objective was to determine the effect of genetic group on haematological and acute phase proteins profiles (white blood cell (WBC) counts, red blood cell (RBC) counts, acute phase proteins: serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin), health (rectal temperature (RT), clinical mastitis (CM) and somatic cell score), calving performance (stillbirth, calving assistance) and post-partum reproductive parameters (endometritis and ovarian cyclicity). Blood sampling and data recording took place 3 weeks pre-calving up to 7 weeks post-calving. Linear mixed models, logistic regression and generalised estimating equations were used for data analysis. HIGH-NZ animals had the highest (P < 0.05) RBC mean corpuscular volume (50.0 fl), exhibited a different WBC distribution pattern (P < 0.05) and had the lowest (P < 0.05) mean RT (38.4°C) for the first 10 days post-calving. These findings suggest enhanced reticulocyte turnover, peripartum response mechanisms and thermoregulation in the HIGH-NZ compared to the other two genetic groups. LOW-NA animals had the highest SAA peak throughout the peripartum period (55.12 mg/l, P < 0.05) and a tendency for higher somatic cell scores (P < 0.10) in early lactation. The HIGH-NA animals had the lowest incidence of udder quarter milk sample bacteria at calving, suggesting better udder health when commencing lactation. No differences were detected between genetic groups in calving performance, post-partum reproductive parameters or CM in the first 42 days post-calving. These results suggest that while inherited peripartum adaptation strategies have been developed by the different genetic groups selected in different environments (pasture = NZ v. confinement = NA), such differences have minimal impact on peripartum clinical health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of three alternative strains of Holstein–Friesian dairy cows, parity and feed system on udder health and milk flow characteristics. The three strains of Holstein–Friesian compared were, high production North American (HP), high durability North American (HD) and New Zealand (NZ). The three feed systems compared were, a high grass allowance feed system typical of spring calving herds in Ireland (MP), a higher concentrate system (HC), and a higher stocking rate system (HS). The data comprised up to 584 lactations from 240 cows across 5 years, from one research herd. The NZ stain had significantly higher average lactation somatic cell count (87,553 cells/ml) than the HP (60,475 cells/ml) or HD strains (59,278 cells/ml). Nonetheless, differences between strains were not biologically important. No significant strain effect on incidence of clinical mastitis was observed; average lactation incidence of clinical mastitis was 26%. The NZ strain had the highest peak milk flow (5.45 kg/min) and the shortest average milking duration (6.60 log sec/day). Feed system had no significant effect on udder health while significant feed system effects were observed on milking characteristics including average milk flow and average and maximum milking duration. This study indicates significant variation in somatic cell count and milking characteristics between strains, which when coupled with their economic importance, suggest the necessity to include these in overall breeding objectives.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of the genetic group of the Holstein–Friesian (HF) and pasture-based feeding system (3 × 2 factorial arrangement) on locomotion score (six gait aspects scored from one to five), clinical lameness and hoof disorders within a seasonal calving milk production system. The three genetic groups compared had an average Economic Breeding Index (EBI) value of 40, 70 and 80: representing the Irish national average genetic merit (LOW-NA), high EBI genetic merit of North American ancestry (HIGH-NA) and high EBI genetic merit of New Zealand ancestry (HIGH-NZ), respectively. Two feed systems were compared: a high grass allowance, low-concentrate system typical of spring-calving herds in Ireland (control) and a high-concentrate system. Data from 126 cows collected across a complete lactation period were analysed using generalised estimating equations and survival analysis. Genetic group of HF had a significant effect on locomotion score, clinical lameness and hoof disorders. Higher EBI cows (HIGH-NA and HIGH-NZ) had lower hazard of poor locomotion score in some gait aspects (e.g. spine curvature) and lower odds of clinical lameness in the first 200 days post-calving (Odds ratios 0.08 and 0.24, respectively, relative to the LOW-NA) and some hoof disorders (e.g. traumatic lesions) compared with LOW-NA cows. The high-concentrate feed system showed a higher incidence and severity of digital dermatitis (P < 0.01). Thus, high EBI cows have better locomotion, fewer cases of clinical lameness and less-severe hoof disorders (i.e. digital dermatitis, white line disease and traumatic lesions) than low EBI cows. These findings have important implications for cow welfare and productivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extensive studies have shown the polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) dysfunction inextricably links to parturition. To investigate the effect of parity on PMN function, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) stimulated luminol-amplified chemiluminescence (CL) and viability of blood and milk PMN were investigated in primiparous and pluriparous dairy cows during periparturient period. The CL kinetics of blood and milk PMN and hematological profiles were also assessed. Milk PMN CL was always lower than blood PMN CL. Blood and milk PMN CL and milk PMN viability were significantly higher in primiparous cows throughout the study. Blood PMN CL in pluriparous cows showed a sharper decrease. Both in pluriparous and in primiparous cows, minimal blood PMN CL appeared at periparturient day (PPD) 2. After PPD 7, blood PMN CL recovery rate was faster in primiparous cows. Milk PMN CL was minimal at PPD 2 in both groups. Whereas no changes were observed in blood PMN viability, the viability of milk PMN in primiparous cows was substantially higher than in pluriparous cows. The number of circulating eosinophils and immature neutrophils was substantially higher in primiparous cows throughout the study. The CL kinetics of blood PMN at PPD -2 and 2 and of milk PMN at PPD 2 exhibited different responses to PMA, with higher intensity and durability, peaking and subsiding more slowly in primiparous dairy cows. The pronounced reduction in PMN CL and viability in milk PMN of pluriparous cows may be involved in the underlying mechanisms that make these animals more susceptible to periparturient infectious diseases.
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.