Effects of Pregnancy on Lactation Milk Value in Dairy Buffaloes

Buffalo are a major source of milk production, contributing 12.1 per cent in the World and 38.0 per cent in Asia, report Fazali Raziq Durrani and Muhammad Younas. This paper was published in the Asian-Australian Association of Animal Production Societies.
calendar icon 23 February 2009
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The buffaloes are kept under peri-urban farming systems to produce milk for urban populations.

Breeding is delayed in these herds to get more economic benefit because farmers believe that the pregnancy decreases milk production. The lactation milk value has been studied in this paper as an economic indicator.

Complete milk yield records of 3,304 buffaloes was collected from a group of state farms. Economic traits including lactation yield, lactation length, calving interval (CI), dry period and milk yield per day of calving interval (MYPDCI) were derived from the data.

The animals were grouped according to parity number (1-3), service period (Gl to G4, conceiving during less than 150, 150-200, 200-300 and more than 300 days post calving) and yield levels (HMY>2,500; MMY 2,001-2,500; and LMY 1,500-2,000 liters/ lactation).

To study the effect of pregnancy on milk composition a research trial was conducted at a medium size private dairy farm, using forty lactating buffaloes of three yield levels and four service period groups, as described already. Milk was sampled on alternate weeks and analyzed for fat and protein contents (per cent).

For quantifying the value of milk produced during a lactation period, the value corrected milk (VCM) was determined and converted to lactation milk value (LMV). Group means were compared for various parameters. Highest milk yield (2,836.50±15.68 liters/lactation) was recorded in the HMY animals of G4 group while lowest milk yield of 1,657.04±18.34 liters/lactation was found in LMY of G1.

Lactation was significantly increased with the extending of service period. The shortest dry period was recorded in HMY, parity 1, Gl animals and the longest in parity 2, MMY, G4.The CI was shortest in HMY, parity 1, and Gl animals and longest in LMY, parity 3, G4 buffaloes.

The HMY, parity 2, Gl buffaloes showed the highest MYPDCI and the lowest value was recorded (6.53±0.17 vs. 2.76±0.04 liter/day) for LMY, parity 1, G4 buffaloes. The VCM decreased with the delayed conception. This decreasing trend was higher in respect of the total yield but decrease in the VCM was smaller due to the increasing levels of fat and protein in the milk.

The gap between the various production classes was reduced based on the VCM as compared with the yield per day of CI. LMV showed a consistent decline with extending service period in all three production groups. The study suggests that CI increased with delayed conception, showing a consistent trend in the low, moderate and high yielding buffaloes.

There was a coherent declining pattern of milk yield with delaying conception, associated with prolonged CI. An animal conceiving at a later stage of lactation showed a decline in financial returns of 24 to 27 per cent compared with those conceiving earlier.

Further Reading

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February 2009

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