An Extended Photoperiod Increases Milk Yield and Decreases Ovulatory Activity in Dairy Goats
AuthorLogan, KJ; Leury, BJ; Russo, VM; Cameron, AWNS; Tilbrook, AJ; Dunshea, FR
AffiliationAgriculture and Food Systems
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLogan, K. J., Leury, B. J., Russo, V. M., Cameron, A. W. N. S., Tilbrook, A. J. & Dunshea, F. R. (2020). An Extended Photoperiod Increases Milk Yield and Decreases Ovulatory Activity in Dairy Goats. ANIMALS, 10 (10), https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101879.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602548
Short day length is associated with reduced milk production in dairy ruminants. Dairy ruminants have been kept in lit sheds during winter to extend the day length and stimulate milk production. However, there studies are few on the effect of an extended photoperiod on the ensuing reproductive performance of dairy goats. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of long day photoperiod (LDPP) and exposure to bucks on milk production and plasma progesterone and prolactin in dairy goats. The study was conducted in 122 non-pregnant lactating dairy goats over 18 weeks from April to August (late autumn and winter in the Southern Hemisphere). The goats were kept in open sided sheds in which the control treatment received ambient lighting while the LDPP treatment received 16 h of light, including artificial lighting. In June, July and August synchronised does were randomly assigned each month to the presence or absence of a buck and ovulatory activity determined from plasma progesterone. Plasma progesterone concentrations were reduced (0.73 vs. 0.46 pmol, p < 0.001) while prolactin concentrations were increased (0.095 vs. 1.33 ng/mL, p < 0.001) in LDPP goats. The former response was most marked in late winter (0.58 vs. 0.004 pmol, p < 0.001) indicating a lack of functional corpora lutea. While there was no overall effect of buck exposure on plasma progesterone concentrations there was a three-way interaction such that plasma progesterone concentrations were increased (p < 0.05) by exposure to bucks in LDPP goats in August (late winter) but not at other times. Milk production was increased in LDPP goats over the latter stages of the study (1. 55 vs. 1.82 L/d, p < 0.05). Also, persistency of lactation was greater in LDPP goats with fewer goats drying off (13 vs. 0%, p < 0.05). These findings suggest that LDPP can increase milk production and persistence while decreasing ovulatory activity in dairy goats.
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