Computerised management schemes are widely used in British dairy herds yet the standardised lactation curves might not be the most appropriate in particular herds. The shape of these curves is more a reflection of feeding than lactational physiology. Experimental evidence supports the approach of prediction of yield potential for each cow in early lactation, the mean rate of fall for the herd and appropriately tailored feeding. Daily pattern of supplementary feeding interacts with body energy balance and might have implications in the incidence of metabolic diseases and infertility. Compositional quality and total yields of milk constituents are influenced by the level of nutrition used at the onset of each lactation.
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