• Do-it-yourself milk recording as a viable alternative to supervised milk recording in Ireland

      Berry, Donagh; Burke, M.; O'Keeffe, M.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Irish Holstein-Friesian Association (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2006)
      The objective of the current study was to determine the feasibility of do-it-yourself (DIY) milk recording in commercial Irish dairy herds as well as the accuracy of predicting 24-h milk production and somatic cell count from part-day samples. The data consisted of 3,850 testday records from 1,565 cows across 23 herds in southern Ireland. Observed part-day and 24-h milk yield and composition were in accordance with previously reported observations in Ireland. Accurate prediction of 24-h milk, fat and protein yield was achieved using either AM or PM samples incorporated within prediction equations. Prediction of daily somatic cell count (SCC) was less accurate although the sensitivity and specificity of predicted daily SCC at identifying true daily SCC ≥ 200,000 was high. The accuracy of predicting 24-h fat and protein yield was augmented when two consecutive milk weights, simultaneous with one milk composition, were included in the prediction equation. Minimal effect on accuracy was observed when two milk weights were included in the prediction model for daily SCC. Thus, AM or PM SCC alone are as good, if not better, an indicator of daily SCC than predicted daily SCC using prediction equations. Milking interval defined as individual cowtestday interval measured in minutes fitted the data better than individual cow-testday interval rounded to the nearest half-hour, which was in turn superior to average herdtestday interval and average herd interval. Hence, results from this study suggest DIY milk recording is a viable alternative to supervised milk recording in Ireland.
    • Evaluation and optimal utilisation of the international linear type classification schemes

      Berry, Donagh; Irish Holstein-Friesian Association (Teagasc, 2007-09)
      The main objectives of this study were: 1) to evaluate the phenotypic associations between linear type traits and survival in New Zealand and identify potential new traits for inclusion in the type classification scheme in Ireland, and 2) to quantify the potential of linear type traits scored in Ireland as early predictors of genetic merit for fertility and survival in Ireland.