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Development of a new approach to determine the energy requirements of dairy cows

  • R E Agnew (a1), T Yan (a1), J France (a1), E Kebreab (a1), D E Beever (a1), F J Gordon (a1), G Alderman (a1), M G Porter (a1) and S B Cammell (a2)...

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One of the cornerstones in the development of a new feed rationing system for dairy cows must involve a reappraisal of both the concepts and ‘numbers’ adopted in defining the energy requirements for dairy cows. This is particularly important in the present scenario where increasingly high levels of animal output are being achieved from very different animal genotypes to those used in UK dairying 20 - 30 years ago. One of the tasks within the Feed Into Milk (FIM) project was to develop a new system to predict the energy requirements of todays dairy cow. The objective of the present study was to collate all available energy metabolism data with dairy cows in the UK and to develop relationships for describing metabolisable energy (ME) requirement for maintenance (MEm) and efficiency of ME use for lactation (kl) using both existing and new methodologies.

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Yan, T., Gordon, F. J., Ferris, C. P., Agnew, R. E., Porter, M. G. and Patterson, D. C. 1997. The fasting heat production and effect of lactation on energy utilisation by dairy cows offered forage-based diets. Livestock Production Science 52:177186.

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