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Differential response of dairy cows to supplementary light during increasing or decreasing daylength

  • C. J. C. Phillips (a1), C. A. Lomas (a1) and T. M. Arab (a1)

Abstract

Two experiments were conducted to compare the response oflactating cows to supplementary light in their lying area during increasing and decreasing natural daylength. During decreasing daylength, supplementary light in the lying area increased the time cows spent lying down and considerably reduced calculated food intake, milk production, live weight and body condition, so that lights were installed in the feeding area for the last half of the experiment, which partially restored intake and live weight. Plasma cortisol concentrations and milk somatic cell counts were increased by supplementary light in decreasing daylength before, but not after, lights were installed in the feeding passage, suggesting that cows may have been stressed by the difficulties encountered during feeding in the dark. During increasing daylength supplementary light did not affect lying time, had less effect on food intake and no effect on milk production or live weight. There was a small reduction in plasma corticosteroid by the end of the experiment with supplementary light. It is concluded that providing supplementary light only in the lying area of dairy cows will have adverse effects on their production and welfare in decreasing, but not increasing daylength

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Differential response of dairy cows to supplementary light during increasing or decreasing daylength

  • C. J. C. Phillips (a1), C. A. Lomas (a1) and T. M. Arab (a1)

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