Locomotor activity and daily milk yield of dairy cows during the perioestrous period in successive lactations

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Locomotor activity and daily milk yield of dairy cows during the perioestrous period in successive lactations

The experiment was conducted in a herd of high-producing Holstein-Friesian cows, using the AfiFarm Herd Management Software, to analyze their locomotor activity during 236 oestruses in relation to the daily milk yield determined during the periooestrous period in four successive production and reproductive cycles. Day "0" was the day of the observed oestrus. Locomotor activity and milk production levels were monitored five days before and five days after oestrus. A correlation was noted between high milk yield and the reproductive performance of cows. An increase in milk yield was accompanied by extended inter-pregnancy and inter-calving intervals and a drop in the insemination index which also tended to decrease in multiparous cows. Primiparous and the highest-yielding cows were characterized by the highest levels of locomotor activity. The physical activity of cows increased by around 67% during oestrus. However, daily milk yield declined at oestrus, compared with the average milk production levels determined five days before and five days after oestrus in each lactation. The installation of pedometers supported the detection of oestrus, including silent oestrus, in dairy cows, and the AfiFarm system was found to be an effective tool for dairy farming and herd management.

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