A Comparison of the Effects of either Four or Six Times of Daily Milking during Early Lactating on Production Performance and Blood Metabolites in Holstein Cows

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor, Animal Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


The objective fllowed in the present study was to evaluate the effects of different milking
frequencies on milk production and on blood metabolites in Holstein cows. Sixty-six fresh Holstein
cows were allocated to two treatments namely: 4 (4x) vs. 6 times (6x) of daily milking, during the first
3 months of lactation, and then switching on to a three times of daily milking until end of the lactation
period. Milk yield was recorded as on two consecutive days in each week. Cows were weighted and
scored for their body conditions immediately after calving and as well during each month of the
experimental period. Blood and milk samples were collected monthly. Milk and fat corrected milk
yield did not differ among treatments. Milk fat and protein percentage did not differ among treatments
rather, but milk lactose was percentage wise lower for 4x milked cows (P<0.01). Somatic cell count in
4x cows was higher than the 6x ones (P<0.05). Treatments did not differ in blood metabolites,
concentrations. Milking frequency did not affect dry matter intake either. Body weight changes and
Body Condition Scores (BCSs) were higher in 6x cows than those in 4x ones. It was finally concluded
that 4x treatment, during early lactation, was more appropriate than the 6x.