Dairy performance of the Kuri taurine cow in Niger: characteristics and importance of non-genetic variation factors
The objective of this study was to analyze, on-station, the non-genetic variation factors associated to Kuri cow lactation parameters to contribute to its characterization and to define sustainable strategies for improving its dairy ability in a real environment. The experimental set-up was made up of 108 suckler cows, including three lots of multiparous cows and one lot of primiparous cow. The animals were followed for 18 months, in extensive breeding mode, with bimonthly milk control until dryness. After data analysis, the mean daily production per cow was 2.5 ± 0.7 kg / day; the mean total milk production per cow was 854.4 ± 354 kg for 331 ± 79 lactation days on average and the standard production (305 days) was 834 ± 181 kg per cow. The mean peak production was 4.2 ± 1.5 kg with peak records greater than 8 kg observed in 3% of the subjects studied. The mean lactation persistence was 77 ± 11%. The same form of zebus curve lactation also characterized this breed. The best model for early estimation of total lactation production is obtained with peak lactation by fit, total production = 224.3 * Peak - 126.7. Herd effect, season and calving rank were decisive in the production parameter variations. These factors thus constitute a means of improving the milk performance of the breed.
Keywords: Kuri cow; Dairy performance; Non-genetic factors; Niger