Articles | Volume 58, issue 1
19 May 2015
 | 19 May 2015

Effect of the temperament of dairy cows on lifetime production efficiency

W. Neja, A. Sawa, M. Jankowska, M. Bogucki, and S. Krężel-Czopek

Abstract. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of the temperament of cows on their lifetime production efficiency. Data on milk performance, longevity and culling reasons of 11 629 Polish Holstein-Friesian cows were extracted from the SYMLEK database. Using the methodology of the Polish Federation of Cattle Breeders and Dairy Farmers, cow temperament was assessed as follows: 1 – calm; 2 – normal; and 3 – excitable or aggressive. Most cows showed a normal temperament (89.52 %). Over successive years of the evaluation, there were increases in the proportion of cows with a calm (from 2.98 to 6.85 %) and excitable temperament (from 7.50 to 8.27 %). Temperament was found to have a highly significant effect on first lactation milk yield, first lactation daily milk yield, milk yield per day of age, and milk yield per day of productive life. In cows with a calm temperament, first lactation milk yield was 621 kg higher than in cows with a normal temperament and 329 kg higher compared to excitable (aggressive) cows.