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Grouping In Cattle Breeding

Intensive dairy farming businesses have to operate consciously by taking their structures in consideration and by grouping their animals into specific groups. Stress is more possible to be seen in the preclimacteric period rather than in the postclimacteric period of cattle and when taking 3- 5 group changes for animals depending upon the size of the business during the lactation period of cows into consideration, importance of group change arises for the cows which are production materials of stock. 

In spite of the fact that; a great majority of struggles (% 80) after grouping take a short time like ‘ 1 minute ‘ , this time can also be change between 60 seconds and 1 hour. Grouping is essential for efficient feeding of dairy cows, fertility and active guiding of the flock no matter which feeding method is being used. 

Having uniform groups, provides healthy need determination and healthy feeding for animals. Because of the reason that; rations are calculated according to ensemble average, low efficient animals are fed more besides the high efficient ones are underfed. The importance of uniformity can be understood from these that are mentioned above. 

During the grouping period, things which should be known are that; cows are flock animals, they are gregarious by their nature and they have behaviour characteristics which are caused by group formation. 

Grouping is usually being made by considering;

  • Age (calf, heifer, bull, cow etc.)
  • Physical condition (milch, dry)
  • Milk efficiency (high, low efficient)
  • factors in the intensive businesses.  

But in fact, more factors should be taken into consideration for obtaining a desired result in grouping. For example, feeding systems usually make calculations through the average yield. Under these circumstances, the problem level in flock increases by irregular nutrient intake.

High- quality cows need more daily nutrient consumption in consideration of more dry matter. This problem is going to solve with efficient grouping of intensive businesses. 

Adequate substructure is required for businesses in order to be able to provide grouping. The fundamental factors for determination of the group sizes are; 

  • Milking shed capacity
  • Status of the gateway places and corridors
  • Average age of the flock
  • Average DIM of the flock (amount of the days for milking)
  • Bulk of animals
  • Heat position (Insemination, artificial insemination etc. )
  • Number of animals which are in different physiologic periods
  • Equipment position 

Determination for the priority of which factor is going to be handled, varies from business to business. While some cultivators predicate lactation milk efficiency on, some of them can primarily see this circumstance with regard to fertility and can arrange grouping according to this. From the point of lactation milk efficiency, there are 2 different groups that can be mentioned. First one is the group which takes milk efficiency in lactation into consideration, second one is the group which prefers observing daily changes. 

Highly productive cows are not paired in the first day of lactation. Thus, feeding, efficient heat control and artificial insemination according to high efficiency should be held together for this group. In fact, all of the cows don’ t lactate similarly in this period of them. Because of this reason, grouping according to the animals’ feeding needs (crude protein, starch, sugar, fiber, oil, vitamin, mineral etc.) which are directly associated with milk efficiency, is going to be more suitable.

Numerous approaches for grouping of cows in the businesses are being talked about. The broadest one from these is grouping animals according to their lactation periods. In this situation, states of the cows which are all in same lactation periods but in different milk efficiency levels are the critical decision points to be handled. 

Another approach is grouping cows according to their milk efficiency. The basic approach here is the assumption that an increase in intra- group sampling is going to be seen because of grouping by taking nutrient requirements into consideration. Under the circumstances, issues such as heat tracking and lactation period via continuous changes in milk efficiency are seen as the restricting factors for grouping. 

Grouping cows according to their physiological periods can be another approach. Cows whose heats are going to be kept under supervision and who are going to be paired provide advantage in terms of insemination and heat tracking as the efficiency level is a restricting factor here. 

According to the conducted studies, cows are separated into 3 groups. The maintenance feeding application is being observed in 2 groups and the aim here is to report the most profitable production in terms of feed prices according to feeding of the second group over the first group. Besides, by separating into 3 groups, % 15 decrease in nitrogen oscillation arises in a group according to feeding and this maintenance feeding application provides advantage by avoiding the negative affects that may occur in the environment. 

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