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Diversity of dairy goat lactation curves in France.

TitleDiversity of dairy goat lactation curves in France.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsArnal, M, Robert-Granié, C, Larroque, H
JournalJ Dairy Sci
Date Published2018 Dec

A high level of production at the peak of lactation may be associated with animal health disorders, high feeding costs, and reduced milk supply throughout the year. The objective of this study was to typologize the lactation curves in French dairy goats and analyze the influence of environmental and genetic factors on these curves. The data set consisted of 2,231,720 monthly test-day records of 213,534 French Saanen and Alpine goats recorded between September 2008 and June 2012. First, principal component analysis classified the shape of the lactation curves into 3 principal components: the first component accounted for milk yield level throughout lactation, the second component accounted for lactation persistency, and the third component accounted for milk yield in mid-lactation. Then, from the principal component scores, the lactations were clustered into 5 different groups. Most lactations had a similar shape to the mean curve, except 30% of the lactations that fell into 3 clusters that had a high production level at the peak and then a different persistency according to cluster. Estimated breeding value for milk yield and home region of breeding were the factors most related to lactation production level. Month of kidding, breed, and gestation stage had the biggest effect on persistency. Month of kidding was the factor most strongly linked to mid-lactation production. A herd effect was observed on all 3 principal components.

Alternate JournalJ. Dairy Sci.
PubMed ID30243638