once a day milking

Once a Day Milking

Potential improvements to the health and fertility of cows, reduced workloads and positive lifestyle changes are some of the major benefits of whole season once-a-day (OAD) milking. This system is gaining popularity in New Zealand over the traditional practice where dairy cows are milked twice a day.

However, suitability of individual cows for OAD milking varies. Some cows adjust well, producing equivalent quantities as those milked twice a day, others do not. Often this is reflected in poor milksolids production and increased somatic cell counts.

AbacusBio consultants, Katarzyna Stachowicz, Peter Amer and Gemma Jenkins, have been contracted by DairyNZ, to explore the variability in how cows perform in a whole season OAD milking system. Questions that require an answer include whether a dedicated OAD genetic evaluation system is needed, and what the economic values of key traits for OAD milking are. The goal is to provide efficient tools for selecting animals that are best suited for OAD milking.