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The effect of diet and condition score on fasting heat production of non-producing dairy cows

  • J.W. Birnie (a1), R.E. Agnew (a1) and F.J. Gordon (a1)


The metabolisable energy (ME) requirement for maintenance (MEm) has been derived from measurements of fasting heat production (FHP) with non-lactating cattle, with, for example, ARC (1980) using published data on steers to develop equations to calculate the MEm of dairy cattle. Recent studies at this Institute (Yan et al. 1997 a&b) have produced estimates of MEm, through either direct measurement of FHP, or the use of regression techniques for producing animals and concluded that MEm was higher than those in published feeding standards (ARC, 1980; AFRC, 1993). The objective of the present experiments was to explore possible reasons for the differences, such as the effect of cow body condition score (CS) on FHP and the effect of level and type of diet given during the pre-fasting period on FHP.



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Agricultural Research Council. 1980. The Nutrient Requirements of Ruminant Livestock. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, Slough SL2 3BN, England.
Agriculture and Food Research Council. 1993. Energy and protein requirements of ruminants. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8DE. U.K.
Yan, T., Gordon, F.J., Agnew, R.E., Porter, M.G. and Patterson, D.C.. 1997a. The metabolisable energy requirement for maintenance and the efficiency of utilisation of metabolisable energy for lactation by dairy cows offered grass silage-based diets. Livestock Production Science. 51: 141150.
Yan, T, Gordon, F.J., Ferris, C.P, Agnew, R.E. Porter, M.G. and Patterson, D.C. 1997b. 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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