Catillo, Gennaro and Macciotta, Nicolò Pietro Paolo and Carretta, Alfonso and Cappio Borlino, Aldo (2002) Effects of age and calving eeason on lactation curves of milk production traits in Italian water buffaloes. Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 85 (5), p. 1298-1306. eISSN 1525-3198. Article.
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Test day (TD) records of milk production traits (milk yield, fat, and protein percentages) of 534 Italian buffalo cows were analyzed with a mixed linear model in order to estimate lactation curves pertaining to different ages at calving and different seasons of calving. Milk yield lactation curves of younger animals were lower than those of older animals until 20 wk from parturition. No effect of age at calving could be observed for fat and protein percentages. Season of calving affected milk yield only in the first phase of lactation, with the lowest production levels for summer calvings; no effect could be observed on fat and protein contents. Average correlations among TD measures within lactation were 0.59, 0.31, and 0.36 for milk yield, fat, and protein percentages, respectively. Five standard linear functions of time were able to reconstruct the average lactation curves. Goodness of fit was satisfactory for all models considered, although only the five-parameter model was flexible enough to fit all the three traits considered with excellent results.
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