Simple and effective strategies to enhance milk production in cattle
Z. A. Pampori1, Sujata Pandita2, Manju Ashutosh3 and A.K.Singh4
Date : 2012-04-17 Volume : 4

Sustainable improvement in livestock production and reproduction has become imperative to satisfy the needs of every day increasing human population. Genetic selection for elite livestock has achieved reasonable success but environmental, nutritional and management conditions are very important to allow genetical potential to be realized. There have been many strategies to improve the milk production in cattle viz, nutritional modulations, hormone treatments and of course changes in animal management. Two of the simplest and most cost effective tools to enhance milk production in cattle is to manipulate the photoperoid and milking frequency. Continuous light exposure for 16-18 hours (long day photoperiod) and darkness for 8-6 hours per day in lactating animals has enhanced milk yield by 10-12% irrespective of original production level. Long day photoperiods in post-weaning phase has also shortened the age at first AI and first calving. Similarly, light exposure for less than 12 hours (short day photoperiod) during dry period of the animal has maximized milk yield in subsequent lactation, besides boosting immune system during transition period. Three times milking instead of two times has increased the milk yield by 15-20%. Further, the animal is responive to frequent milking during early lactation and the effects of frequent milking persists even after a lower milking frequency is resumed. Thus these two strategies can be adopted at farm and backyard level to augment milk production with very little investment and labour.