Effect of season and temperature before and after calving on the future milk production of born heifers

Šimon Mikláš, Vladimír Tančin, Petr Sláma, Maroš Čobirka, Michal Uhrinčať, Martina Vršková, Lucia Mačuhová


Article Details: Received: 2020-06-30 | Accepted: 2020-10-15 | Available online: 2020-12-31


The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of birth season, average maximum temperatures 6 weeks before and after birth of heifers on their first lactation milk yield. In chosen herd, the effect of birth weight, weight gain until weaning on first lactation milk yield was also investigated. Additionally, the effect of the average maximum temperatures before birth, effect of birth season on birth weight were evaluated. The data were collected from the herd “A” in Orava region consisting of Slovak spotted breed (127 records), the herd “B” in Lower Nitra (150 records) and herd “C” in Upper Nitra (116 records) both consisting of black Holstein Friesian cows. Birth season tended to influence the heifers first lactation milk yield in the herd “C” (P <0.06). The maximum average temperatures during the first 6 weeks after birth significantly affected heifers first lactation in the herd “A” (P <0.01). The maximum average temperatures affecting pregnant cows before birth of their heifers did not influence heifers’ milk yield during the first lactation in all herds (P >0.66, herd “A”; P >0.59, herd “B”; P >0.38, herd “C”). In the herd “B” there was insignificant effect of prenatal temperatures, birth season on birth weight of heifers (P >0.97; P >0.74). However, the heifers with the highest weight gains until weaning had numerically higher first lactation milk yield (P >0.20).

Keywords: dairy calves, temperature, season, milk yield, gestation length


CALLINAN P.A. and FEINBERG A. P. (2006). The emerging science of epigenomics. Human Molecular Genetics, 15(1), R95-R101. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddl095

COLLIER, R. J. et al. (2006). Use of gene expression microarrays for evaluating environmental stress tolerance at the cellular level in cattle. Journal of Animal Science, 84(13), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.2527/2006.8413_supplE1x

DAHL, G. E., TAO, S. and MONTEIRO, A. P. A. (2016). Effects of late-gestation heat stress on immunity and performance of calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 99(4), 3193–3198. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2015-9990

DAHL, G. E., TAO, S. and THOMPSON, I. M. (2012). LACTATION BIOLOGY SYMPOSIUM: Effects of photoperiod on mammary gland development and lactation. Journal of Animal Science, 90(3), 755–760. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2011-4630

HEINRICHS, A. J. and HEINRICHS, B. S. (2011). A prospective study of calf factors affecting first-lactation and lifetime milk production and age of cows when removed from the herd. Journal of Dairy Science, 94(1), 336–341. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2010-3170

KASARDA, R. et al. (2018). Estimation of heritability for claw traits in Holstein cattle using Bayesian and REML approaches. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 19(4), 784–790. https://doi.org/10.5513/JCEA01/19.4.2338

LAPORTA, J. et al. (2017). In utero exposure to heat stress during late gestation has prolonged effects on the activity patterns and growth of dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 100(4), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11993

MIGLIOR, F. et al. (2017). Identification and genetic selection of economically important traits in dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 100(12), 10251–10271. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-12968

MOALLEM, U. et al. (2010). Long-term effects of ad libitum whole milk prior to weaning and prepubertal protein supplementation on skeletal growth rate and first-lactation milk production. Journal of Dairy Science, 93(6), 2639–2650. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2009-3007

MONTEIRO, A. P. A. et al. (2013). Effect of heat stress in utero on calf performance and health through the first lactation. Journal of Animal Science, 91, 184. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2015-9990

MONTEIRO, A. P. A. et al. (2014). Effect of heat stress during late gestation on immune function and growth performance of calves: Isolation of altered colostral and calf factors. Journal of Dairy Science, 97(10), 6426–6439. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2013-7891

MONTEIRO, A. P. A. et al. (2016a). Effect of maternal heat stress during the dry period on growth and metabolism of calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 99(5), 3896–3907. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2015-10699

MONTEIRO, A. P. A. et al. (2016b). In utero heat stress decreases calf survival and performance through the first lactation. Journal of Dairy Science, 99(10), 8443–8450. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11072

OSBORNE, V. R. et al. (2007). Effects of photoperiod and glucose-supplemented drinking water on the performance of  dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 90(11), 5199–5207. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2007-0402

RIUS, G. and DAHL, G. E. (2006). Exposure to Long-Day Photoperiod Prepubertally May Increase Milk Yield in FirstLactation Cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 89(6), 2080–2083. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(06)72277-9

SCHAEFFER, L. R. (2006). Strategy for applying genome-wide selection in dairy cattle. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 123, 218–223. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0388.2006.00595.x

SOBERON, F. et al. (2012). Preweaning milk replacer intake and effects on long-term productivity of dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 95(2), 783–793. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2011-4391

SOBERON, F. and VAN AMBURGH, M. E. (2013). Lactation Biology Symposium: The effect of nutrient intake from milk or milk replacer of preweaned dairy calves on lactation milk yield as adults: A meta-analysis of current data. Journal of Animal Science, 91(2), 706–712. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2012-5834

STRAPÁK, P., JUHÁS, P. and BUJKO, J. (2013). The influence of health status in calves with subsequent growth of heifers and milk production in dairy cows. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 14(3), 347–356. https://doi.org/10.5513/JCEA01/14.3.1326

TANČIN, V. et al. (1994). Different nutrition of calves in relation to the levels of thyroid-hormones and some biochemical indexes. Živočíšna výroba, 39(11), 961–971.

TANČIN, V., MIKLÁŠ, Š. and MAČUHOVÁ, L. (2018). Possible physiological and environmental factors affecting milk production and udder health of dairy cows: A  review. Slovak Journal of Animal Science, 51(1), pp. 32–40.

TAO, S. et al. (2012). Effect of late gestation maternal heat stress on growth and immune function of dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 95(12), 7128–7136. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2012-5697

TAO, S. et al. (2018). Symposium review: The influences of heat stress on bovine mammary gland function. Journal of Dairy Science, 101(6), 5642–5654. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13727

TAO, S. et al. (2019). Effects of heat stress during late gestation on the dam and its calf. Journal of Animal Science, 97(5), 2245–2257. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz061

UHRINČAŤ, M. et al. (2007). The effect of growth intensity of heifers till 15 months of age on their milk production during first lactation. Slovak Journal of Animal Science, 40(2), 83–88.

VACULIKOVA, M. and CHLADEK, G. (2015). Air temperature impacts on the behaviour of holstein calves in individual outdoor calf hutches according to age of observed calves. In O.  Polák, R. Cerkal and N. Březinová-Belcredi (Eds.), The Conference MendelNet 2015 (pp. 169–173). Brno: Mendel University in Brno.

VAN EETVELDE, M. et al. (2017). Season of birth is associated with first-lactation milk yield in Holstein Friesian cattle. Animal, 11(12), 2252–2259. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731117001021

VAN EETVELDE, M. and OPSOMER, G. (2017). Innovative look at dairy heifer rearing: Effect of prenatal and postnatal environment on later performance. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 52(3), 30–36. https://doi.org/10.1111/rda.13019

WIGGANS, G. R. et al. (2017). Genomic Selection in Dairy Cattle: The USDA Experience. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, 5, 309–327. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-animal-021815-111422

WU, G. F. et al. (2006). Board-Invited Review: Intrauterine growth retardation: Implications for the animal sciences. Journal of Animal Science, 84(9), 2316–2337. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2006-156

YATES, D., GREEN, A. and LIMESAND, S. (2011). Catecholamines mediate multiple fetal adaptations during placental insufficiency that contribute to intrauterine growth restriction: Lessons from hyperthermic sheep. Journal of Pregnancy, Article ID 740408, pp. 1–9. https://doi. org/10.1155/2011/740408

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Acta Fytotechnica et Zootechnica

© Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources