To determine whether the growth benefits of the QoC Nutrition Programme for calves translate into greater milk production in heifers, two quite different studies were conducted.

National Farmer Study

In 2009 LIC herd test data was collected from 49 farms nationwide that had QoC reared first and second year milkers in their herds. Their average daily milk solid production was compared with the national average for each breed and age group for the 2007/2008 season. The study involved 6,900 cows. Statistical analysis was performed by Prof Chris Triggs, Head of Department, Department of Statistics, University of Auckland.

17% more daily milk solids in the first year and 18% in the second year. In their first lactation the QoC animals produced on average 17% more average daily milk solids than the national average. That same season, cows one year older that were also raised on QoC produced 18% more milk solids than the national average.

Daily average milk solids (kg/day)

  Breed No. of herds National average QoC average % increase
1st year milker
Jersey 11 1.09 1.30* 19.6
Cross 24 1.22 1.39* 13.6
Friesian 14 1.23 1.41* 15.0
2nd year milker
Jersey 11 1.28 1.58* 23.6
Cross 24 1.45 1.64* 12.9
Friesian 14 1.45 1.69* 16.7

*difference is statistically significant

Prof. Chris Triggs, Department of Statistics, University of Auckland

Research Farm Study

Using the animals from the 2007 Massey University growth trials, milk production data from their first lactation in the 2009/2010 season was analysed to determine whether under strict research conditions QoC heifers produce more milk solids.

12% more milk. The QoC group was shown to produce 12% more milk on account of producing a greater volume of milk, and milk that is higher in fat.

  Milk only Milk plus QoC
Average fat corrected yield (kg/d) 16.8 18.7**
Milk fat (g/kg) 47.7 49.5**
Milk protein (g/kg) 35.2 35.4

* to 4% as per international reporting convention
**difference is statistically significant

This study was presented at the 2011 American Dairy Science Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, along with the calf growth trial data from 2007

More recently the outcomes were published in the Journal of Dairy Science in 2013.

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