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Modification of Microclimate to Improve Milk Production in Tropical Rainforest of Thailand

  • Suriyasathaporn, W. (Ruminant Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Boonyayatra, S. (Ruminant Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Kreausukon, K. (Ruminant Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Pinyopummintr, T. (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kasetsat University) ;
  • Heuer, C. (Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, College of Sciences, Massey University)
  • Received : 2005.09.13
  • Accepted : 2006.02.16
  • Published : 2006.06.01

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of electric fan installation for milk production improvement of dairy cattle in Thailand. The study was conducted using 2 small-holder dairy farms in Chiang Mai province, during April to August 2004. Electric fans were installed in front of each row of cows. Each of the two rows of cows in the barn was defined as an experimental unit, thus each farm had two experimental units. The fans were operated alternately in 7-day intervals between rows of cows within each farm during the day or between 8.00 am to 8.00 pm. Non-operation periods were used as control. Milk yields were recorded. Data on environmental temperature and humidity were obtained from Chiang Mai Meteorological Center. Result from statistically analysis of milk record suggested an interaction between lactation period and fan installation. Therefore, this interaction term of lactation period and fan installation (PERIOD_FAN) was added as a variable to the regression model. Due to the repeated data collection of milk yield from the same cow (alternate week), milk yield was analyzed by repeated measure analysis (Mixed model). Least square means were calculated for all levels and used to compare between each pair-wise values. The final data were collected from the total of 18 cows with 2,072 data. Overall means and SEM of milk yields and days in milk separated into farm were $14.7{\pm}0.06kg/day$ and $176.3{\pm}2.2days$, and $15.2{\pm}0.22kg/day$ and $202.5{\pm}3.7$ days for farm A and farm B, respectively. For multivariable analysis, only PERIOD_FAN and humidity were significantly associated with milk yield. Only the first period of lactation showed that the amount of milk yields during fan installation was higher than that of non-fan installation (p<0.05). Cows with fan installation produced approximately 1.2 kg/cow more milk than cows without fan installation during this period. In conclusion, the use of electric fan operated during the day time increased milk production of cows during the first period of lactation.

Keywords

Dairy Cattle;Fans;Milk;Period of Lactation;Thailand

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