Performance, milk fatty acid composition and behaviour of high-yielding Holstein dairy cows given a limited grazing period

Atkins, N.E., Cianchi, C., Rutter, S.M., Williams, S.J., Gauld, C., Charlton, G.L. and Sinclair, L.A. (2020) Performance, milk fatty acid composition and behaviour of high-yielding Holstein dairy cows given a limited grazing period. Grass and Forage Science.

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Abstract

The effects of a limited grazing period on the performance, behaviour and milk composition of high‐yielding dairy cows were examined. A total of 56 Holstein cows yielding 44.7 ± 0.42 kg/day were allocated to one of four treatments in one of two, 4‐week periods. Treatments were as follows: control (C)—cows housed and offered TMR ad libitum; early grazing (EG)—cows grazed for 6 hr after morning milking then housed; delayed grazing (DG)—cows returned to housing for 1 hr after morning milking followed by grazing for 6 hr, then housed; restricted TMR (RT)—cows grazed for 6 hr after morning milking, then housed and fed TMR at 75% of ad libitum. Intake of TMR was highest in cows receiving C, intermediate in EG and DG, and lowest in RT at 26.9, 23.6, 24.7 and 20.3 kg DM/day respectively. Pasture intake was similar in cows receiving EG or DG, but was higher in RT at 2.4, 2.0 and 3.5 kg DM/day respectively. Milk yield was similar between cows receiving C, EG or DG, but lowest in RT at 45.7, 44.2, 44.9 and 41.7 kg/cow, respectively, while milk fat content of C18:3 n‐3 was increased by grazing. Cows in C spent more than 55 min/day longer lying and had three additional lying bouts/day, while lying bouts were shorter than for cows receiving EG, RT or DG. It is concluded that high‐yielding cows can be grazed for 6 hr/day with little impact on performance, provided TMR is available ad libitum when housed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: behaviour, fatty acid, grazing, intake, milk production
Divisions: Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2020 15:20
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 15:20
URI: http://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17537

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