An examination of two concentrate allocation strategies which are based on the early lactation milk yield of autumn calving Holstein Friesian cows
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CitationD. Lawrence, M. O’Donovan, T.M. Boland, E. Lewis, E. Kennedy, An examination of two concentrate allocation strategies which are based on the early lactation milk yield of autumn calving Holstein Friesian cows, Animal, Volume 10, Issue 5, 2016, Pages 796-804, ISSN 1751-7311, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731115002724.
AbstractThe objective of this experiment was to compare the effects of two concentrate feeding strategies offered with a grass silage and maize silage diet on the dry matter (DM) intake, milk production (MP) and estimated energy balance of autumn calved dairy cows. Over a 2-year period, 180 autumn calving Holstein Friesian cows were examined. Within year, cows were blocked into three MP sub-groups (n=9) (high (HMP), medium (MMP) and low (LMP)) based on the average MP data from weeks 3 and 4 of lactation. Within a block cows were randomly assigned to one of two treatments (n=54), flat rate (FR) concentrate feeding or feed to yield (FY) based on MP sub-group. Cows on the FR treatment were offered a fixed rate of concentrate (5.5 kg DM/cow per day) irrespective of MP sub-group. In the FY treatment HMP, MMP and LMP cows were allocated 7.3, 5.5 and 3.7 kg DM of concentrate, respectively. The mean concentrate offered to the FR and FY treatments was the same. On the FR treatment there was no significant difference in total dry matter intake (TDMI, 17.3 kg) between MP sub-groups. In the FY treatment, however, the TDMI of HMP-FY was 2.2 kg greater than MMP-FY, and 4.5 kg greater than LMP-FY (15.2 kg DM). The milk yield of LMP-FR was 3.5 kg less than the mean of the HMP-FR and MMP-FR treatments (24.5 kg). The milk yield of the HMP-FY treatment was 3.6 and 7.9 kg greater than the MMP-FY and LMP-FY treatments, respectively. The difference in MP between the HMP sub-groups was 2.6 kg, which translates to a response of 1.4 kg of milk per additional 1 kg of concentrate offered. There was no significant difference in MP between the two LMP sub-groups; however, MP increased 0.8 kg per additional 1 kg of concentrate offered between cows on the LMP-FR and LMP-FY treatments. The estimated energy balance was positive for cows on the LMP-FR treatment, but negative for cows on the other treatments. The experiment highlights the variation within a herd in MP response to concentrate, as cows with a lower MP potential are less responsive to additional energy input than cows with a greater MP potential. Cows with a greater MP capacity did not substitute additional concentrate for the basal forage, which indicates an additional demand for energy based on ability of individual cows to produce milk.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright © 2016 The Animal Consortium. Published by Elsevier B.V.