Performance and behaviour at milking after relocation and housing change of dairy cows
J. Brouček, M. Uhrinčať, V. Tančin, A. Hanus, P. Tongeľ, Ľ. Botto, I. Bôžikhttps://doi.org/10.17221/6938-CJASCitation:Brouček J., Uhrinčať M., Tančin V., Hanus A., Tongeľ P., Botto Ľ., Bôžik I. (2013): Performance and behaviour at milking after relocation and housing change of dairy cows. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 58: 389-395.
The hypothesis that relocation of cows with a housing change temporarily decreases their milk production and affects cows’ behaviour in the milking parlour has been proved. Forty-one Holstein cows on the 1st and 2nd lactation were relocated from the tie-stall barn into the free-stall barn. Cows were milked in a 2 × 5 herringbone parlour twice a day. Individual milk yields, order, and used parlour side were recorded electronically during 50 (milk) or 22 (order and side) milking sessions. Milk yield after cows’ relocation (23.76 kg) significantly decreased if compared to that reached on the day preceding relocation (30.97 kg; P < 0.001). Milk production approached the level of the last day on days 3 and 4 (30.72 and 30.72 kg, respectively) after relocation. Milk yield exceeded that before relocation on day 13 (31.82 kg). There were significant differences between parities during the whole observation period except for the first day after relocation – cows on the 2nd parity yielded more (P < 0.001). Multiparous cows entered the parlour earlier than primiparous, equally during morning and evening milkings (P < 0.01). Generally a left-side preference was found in the observed cows, while it was more prominent in primiparous than in multiparous cows during evening milkings (P < 0.05). Relationships between milking order and milk performance were on days 5–11 negative and significant (P < 0.01). We may conclude that although temporarily, relocation with housing and milking changes significantly affected the milk yield.Keywords:
cattle; barn change; milking system; milk yield; behavioural reaction; preference