Abstract

Efficiency of lactation production is referred to in this paper as the efficiency of a lactating cow to convert energy intake to produce milk. Variation among cows is significant in each of the energy measures after the partitioning of energy intake, but variation due to genetic causes are not well understood. Establishing a data base to estimate efficiency on individual cows on farm by installing calorimetric instruments is not possible. Therefore, estimation of efficiency based on data collectable under normal farm conditions has been attempted. Given an accurate and meaningful measure, energetic efficiency can be improved by management and by genetic selection. All expressions of efficiency are measures of the balance or imbalance between the components in the metabolic complex in a cow. Thus, other approaches to improve efficiency could be a simultaneous consideration of, for example, intake, body weight and condition, yield, and efficiency.

I. L Mao

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 25: Lactation; growth and efficiency; meat quality; role of exotic breeds in the tropics; design of village breeding programs; n, , 23–30, 1998
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