Macciotta, Nicolò Pietro Paolo and Sanna, Sebastiano Renato and Dimauro, Corrado and Cappio Borlino, Aldo (2003) A Multivariate measure of lactation persistency for dairy sheep. Italian Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 2 (Suppl. 1), p. 40-42. eISSN 1828-051X. Article.
The persistency of lactation, i.e. the ability of animals to maintain a rconstant level of production after the lactation peak, represents an interesting trait for animal breeding strategies, allowing for the increase of profitability of animal husbandry via the reduction of production costs. Dairy cattle with flatter curves show a higher reproductive efficiency, a better metabolic status and have their nutritional requirements more constantly spread throughout lactation, allowing for the use of cheaper feeds (Dekkers et al., 1998; Solkner and Fucks, 1987). Also in dairy sheep the persistency could represent an interesting trait for breeding purposes. A main problem for the introduction of this trait in an aggregate genotype is represented by the difficulty in finding an objective measure: several measurements of lactation persistency have been proposed but none of them is widely accepted (Gengler, 1996). Recently a new index of the persistency based on multivariate Factor analysis, has been proposed for dairy cattle (Macciotta et al., 2002). Aim of the present work is to check the suitability of this index to discriminate lactation curves with different persistency and to analyse the effect of some environmental factor on this trait.
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