Milk production performance of Holstein Friesian dairy cows at Holetta Bull Dam Farm, Ethiopia
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Department of Animal Production and Technology, Wolkite University, P.O.Box 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia; Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, P.O.Box 307, Jimma, Ethiopia; LUKE Natural Resources Institute Finland, Helsinki, Finland
The study was carried out at Holetta Bull Dam farm to assess the effects of non genetic factors on milk production traits of Holstein Friesian dairy cattle. Records compiled from 1981 to 2013 were used as original data of production traits like 305 days milk yield (n=3538), total lactation milk yield (n=3706) and lactation length (n=2923) of the Holstein Friesian herd in Ethiopian management and environmental situation. Effects of period, sire origin, season and parity on milk yield traits were evaluated. The data were analyzed using general linear models. Result of the non-genetic factors revealed that period of calving, parity and sire origin had significant (p<0.001) effect and were the main causes of variation in milk production traits. Season of calving had no significant effect on milk production traits except on LL. The overall least squares means of LMY and LL were: 3689±45.0 kg, 3604±38.4 kg, and 319±1.91 days, respectively. Generally the productive performance of cows reported in this study was lower than the performance reported in many tropical regions and its expected genetic potential in their countries of their origins. Therefore, improving herd management, breeding practices, as well asconsidering genotype-environmental interactions during importation of breeding sire and heifer is very essential for full exploitation of exotic dairy cattle genetic potential in Ethiopia. © 2015 Fundacion CIPAV. All rights reserved.