This study investigated the effect of genotype and diet on the gross feed conversion efficiency (FCE) of cows milked for 600-day extended lactations (24-month season) compared with 300-day lactations (12-month season). North American (NA) and New Zealand (NZ) Holstein-Friesians (HF) grazed pasture and were supplemented with either 0, 3 or 6 kg DM concentrate/cow/day. In a normal 12-month season, gross FCE was greater for NZ HF compared with NA HF cows when fed 0 or 3 kg DM concentrate (96 and 104 vs. 90 and 99 kg milksolids (MS)/t dry matter intake (DMI), respectively), but similar when fed 6 kg DM (101 kg MS/t DMI). However, during an extended 24-month season, NZ HF cows had a lower gross FCE than NA HF when fed 6 kg DM concentrate (86 vs. 99 kg MS/t DMI, respectively) and similar FCE when fed 0 or 3 kg DM (85 and 94 vs. 86 and 99 kg MS/t DMI, respectively). Regardless of diet, gross FCE in an extended lactation was 98% of that obtained in a normal season for NA HF cows, but only 88% for NZ HF, indicating that NA HF are better suited to converting feed into high MS production in extended lactations.

CVC, Phyn, C Clark, PW Aspin, and ES Kolver

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 68, Brisbane, Australia, 100-104, 2008
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