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Supplementary feeding of dairy cows on continuously stocked pasture

  • P. G. Jennings (a1) and W. Holmes (a1)

Summary

Two experiments were conducted with milking cows on continuously stocked perennial ryegrass pastures. In each a control group, T0, received 1 kg/day of a concentrate supplement and treatment groups T1 and T2 received 4 kg (Expt 1) or 5 kg/day (Expt 2) of a low quality T1 or a high quality T2 concentrate. In Expt 1 treatments were applied continuously for 14 weeks to a total of 30 cows. In Expt 2 a Latin square design for 9 weeks was conducted with 18 cows. The stocking rate of the pasture declined from 9·6 to 5·1 cows per ha (mean 6·7 cows/ha) from May to August (Expt 1) and was maintained at 3 cows/ha in August-October (Expt 2).

Supplements increased total intakes by 0·92 and 0·77 kg organic matter (OM)/kg OM supplied in the concentrates respectively for Expts 1 and 2. Milk yields increased by 0·6 and 0·5 kg/kg concentrate supplied and supplemented cows showed small increases in live weight. Differences in lactation milk yield just approached significance. Grazing times were only slightly reduced by supplements and bite sizes were lower than normal. There was no important difference in animal performance between the two concentrates. The total output from the pasture was 19·6t milk and 115 GJ of utilized metabolizable energy per hectare.

Reasons for the high supplementary effect of the concentrates and its implications for stocking rates are discussed.

Copyright

References

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Supplementary feeding of dairy cows on continuously stocked pasture

  • P. G. Jennings (a1) and W. Holmes (a1)

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