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The voluntary intake of roughages by pregnant and by lactating dairy cows

  • R. Marsh (a1), M. K. Curran (a1) and R. C. Campling (a1)

Summary

1. Effects of late pregnancy and early lactation on the voluntary intake of dried grass (Expt 1) and a poor quality seeds hay (Expt 2) by dairy cows are described. Each cow received a constant daily allocation of concentrates throughout late pregnancy. After calving half the cows received an 80% increase in concentrates, and the remainder continued to receive their pre-partum allowance.

2. Mean daily intakes of dried grass were higher than those of poor quality seeds hay. Intake of dried grass in week 2 of lactation was significantly correlated with the live weight of the cows, but a non-significant correlation was observed when seeds hay was offered.

3. During late pregnancy mean daily intakes of both roughages were approximately constant until the week immediately before par turition, when a significant decline occurred.

4. After calving mean daily intakes of both roughages increased throughout the first six weeks of lactation by 20–30% of the intake at week 1 post partum.

5. The 80% increase in daily concentrate allocation in early lactation caused a significant decline of 0·55 kg dried grass dry-matter intake per kg concentrate dry matter; the decline of 0·17 kg poor quality hay dry matter per kg concentrate dry matter was not significant.

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References

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The voluntary intake of roughages by pregnant and by lactating dairy cows

  • R. Marsh (a1), M. K. Curran (a1) and R. C. Campling (a1)

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