|Title||Response profiles of dairy cows to a single 24-h milking interval in relation with milk proteolysis, udder expansion and immune traits.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Charton, C, Larroque, H, Pochet, S, Germon, P, Lequeux, G, Guinard-Flament, J|
|Date Published||2019 Jun|
|Keywords||Animals, Cattle, Dairying, Female, Interleukin-8, Mammary Glands, Animal, Mastitis, Bovine, Milk, Proteolysis, Time Factors|
An extended milking interval of 24 h (24-h milking interval (24h-MI)) constitutes the acute phase of cow adaptation to once-daily milking (ODM). A recent trial including 724 24h-MI challenges demonstrated that milk yield responses to this acute phase of ODM are highly variable (from+22% to -52% of milk yield when switching to the 24h-MI, mean=-25.3%) and that factors such as stage of lactation parity and milk yield level influenced cows' responses but did not account for all individual variability. Additional traits related to physiological, immune and behavioural adaptation were measured on a subset (96 observations) of this data set. This study aimed to determine (1) the relationship of these traits with cows' milk yield responses, (2) their ability - combined with previously identified traits - to help predict milk yield responses to 24h-MI (adaptive profiles). The 24h-MI challenge consisted of three successive periods: one control week of twice-daily milking (cTDM), one single day of 24h-MI and then 13 days of TDM (pTDM). Milk yield responses to the 24h-MI (corrected for effects of stage of lactation, parity, milk yield level and milk yield) were related to physiological traits measured during cTDM (milk flow rate, presence or absence of interleukin-8) and to their changes during the 24h-MI (absolute increase in milk flow rate and relative udder distension). Analysis of associations between milk yield responses, stage of lactation, parity, milk yield level, proteolysis, udder expansion and immune traits found three adaptive cow profile clusters. Cows in cluster 1 had a less compliant udder than cows in cluster 2, and they lost more milk during the 24h-MI than cluster-2 and cluster-3 cows. After resuming twice daily-milking (TDM), cluster-2 cows fully recovered the milk they had lost during the 24h-MI. On the opposite, cluster-3 cows did not recover the milk they lost, likely due to udder inflammation during cTDM, as suggested by elevated concentrations of interleukin-8 in their milk. These results combining new traits with stage of lactation, parity and milk yield level constitute a first step towards predicting individual cow responses to a 24h-MI.