Analysis of the calving pattern of herds in small-scale dairy systems in central Mexico
Val-Arreola, D., Kebreab, E., Mills, J. A. N. and France, J. (2004) Analysis of the calving pattern of herds in small-scale dairy systems in central Mexico. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, 13 (4). pp. 557-573. ISSN 1230-1388
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This study sets out to find the best calving pattern for small-scale dairy systems in Michoacan State, central Mexico. Two models were built. First, a linear programming model was constructed to optimize calving pattern and herd structure according to metabolizable energy availability. Second, a Markov chain model was built to investigate three reproductive scenarios (good, average and poor) in order to suggest factors that maintain the calving pattern given by the linear programming model. Though it was not possible to maintain the optimal linear programming pattern, the Markov chain model suggested adopting different reproduction strategies according to period of the year that the cow is expected to calve. Comparing different scenarios, the Markov model indicated the effect of calving interval on calving pattern and herd structure.