Article| Volume 74, ISSUE 4, P1277-1283, April 1991

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Effect of Dry Period Length on Milk Production in Subsequent Lactation

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      The effect of planned dry period lengths of 4,7, and 10 wk on subsequent lactational yield was estimated with 366 cows in an experiment in which dry period was manipulated independently of milk yield prior to drying off. In two herds, all three treatments were compared within herd; in six herds, two treatments were compared within herd. Compared with a 7-wk planned dry period, a 3-wk decrease lowered the level of milk production by 2.8 kg of 4% FCM/d in the first 84 d of the subsequent lactation, whereas a 3-wk increase raised the level of milk production by .5 kg/d In the first 168 d of the subsequent lactation, the difference between 4-wk and 7-wk planned dry periods was 2.7 kg/d, and the difference between 7- and 10-wk periods was .4 kg/d. There was no indication of interaction among planned dry period length and lactation number, days open in previous lactatian, previous milk yield, breed, or health status with respect to effect on subsequent lactational yield.

      Key words

      Abbreviation Key:

      RDM (Red Danish breed), SDM (Danish Black and White breed), SFU (Scandinavian feed units)


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