Document Detail

Invited review: Genetic considerations for various pasture-based dairy systems.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25151878     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Pasture-based dairy systems use grazing to supply significant percentages of the dry matter intake of cows and heifers. Such systems vary from those for which pasture is used only as a supplemental feed for cows primarily fed a total mixed ration to those for which pasture is the primary source of dry matter for the herd. Cows that are optimal in a pasture system share many general characteristics with cows that are appropriate for a nonpasture system, including feed efficiency, maintenance of body condition, reproductive fitness, udder health, longevity, and the ability to adapt to various management systems. However, in such divergent feeding systems, the relative importance of various traits can differ. In pasture systems where cow nutrient demand intentionally coincides with seasonal forage availability, the focus of selection has emphasized fertility and other fitness traits, as well as yields of milk or milk components. Breeds or strains with higher yields of protein and fat typically have advantages in grazing systems that supply milk to solids-based or cheese markets. Holstein cows with high percentages of North American ancestry can work well in grazing systems that include supplemental concentrates or partial mixed rations, particularly if calving intervals are less restrictive. Crossbred cows can be selected for use in specific grazing systems as well as for specific milk markets, with the added advantage of heterosis. Breeds and crosses with high fertility are important for seasonal breeding and calving. The ability of cattle to both milk and maintain sufficient body condition for reproduction is important for any dairy production system but is critical in a seasonal system. Dairy farms that depend on pasture for most of dry matter for cows typically have lower production per cow than nongrazing dairies but have the potential to be economically competitive because of lower operating and overhead costs. Although the principles of selection are similar across a variety of pasture-based and nonpasture systems, we document from studies and observations covered herein that optimal breeds, breed strains, and selection strategies can differ based on varying management constraints and objectives.
S P Washburn; K A E Mullen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-8-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of dairy science     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1525-3198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Dairy Sci.     Publication Date:  2014 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-8-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985126R     Medline TA:  J Dairy Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2014 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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