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Effects of parity, breed, herd-year, age, and month of kidding on the milk yield and composition of dairy goats in Belgium

Zoa-Mboé, A., Michaux, C., Detilleux, J.C., Kebers, C., Farnir, F.P., Leroy, P.L.
Journal of animal breeding and genetics 1997 v.114 no.1-6 pp. 201-213
Nubian (goat breed), Saanen, dairy goats, kidding, lactation, milk, milk yield, models, races, Belgium
SUMMARY: Lactation records, collected from 1989 to 1995, for Belgian dairy goats were examined for effects of parity, breed, herd-year, age at kidding, and month of kidding on milk, fat and protein yields, and on fat and protein percentages. Total lactation yields were computed from test-day yields, using Fleischmann's method. For lactations longer than 250 days, yields were truncated at 250 days. Partial lactations (25 days minimum) were extended to 250 days, and fat and protein percentages were deducted from the yields. After editing a total of 2997 lactation records of 2562 does remained. The parity classifications were first and second or greater; kidding seasons were defined as December, January, February, March, April to July, and August to November. The breed groups were Anglo-Nubian, Chamoisee, Saanen, and crossbreeds. The data were analysed within parity with a fixed-effect model that included effects of herd-year, breed, month of kidding, and age at Kidding. All effects in the model were significant on the traits measured for parities, except the age effects on fat percentage and of month of kidding on protein percentage at first parity. Saanen had the highest milk yield at first parity; at later parities, the Chamoisee produced most. Yield increases were large between first and later parities. Does freshening in February produced more milk than those that freshened at other months. Monthly variations in fat and protein percentages across parities, although mostly significant, were small. Yields increased with age at first parity; for later parities, they increased until 25-30 months for milk and until 40 months for fat and protein, and then decreased. Fat and protein percentages increased up to 15-17 months of age, and then decreased to the lowest values around 25 months; this was followed by an increase around 32 months, which tended to stabilize until 50 months. The ranges of R² associated with effects were: for herd-year, 43-52% and 22-36%; for breed, 3-11% and 4-12%; for month of kidding 6-10% and 2-5%; for age at kidding 3-7% and 1-17%--for first and second, and later parities, respectively.