Studies conducted by Moseley and Manendez (1989) and Gill and Romney (1994) have indicated a good correlation between potential intake rate and voluntary food intake for certain feedstuffs. Therefore development of a simple technique to assess intake rate could enable rapid assessment of feed acceptability. This experiment examined what will be termed Short Term Intake Rate (STIR) as a method of ranking forage mixtures in terms of intake potential.
Five individually fed multiparous Fresian Holstein dairy cows were offered five silage based diets ad libitum daily for five days in a latin square design. The diets consisted of grass silage (A), or grass silage and maize silage in a 1:3 DM ratio (B, C, D and E). The DM content of the grass silage (A) was 279 g DM/kg, and the target DM content of the maize silage used in diets B, C, D and E was 230, 280, 300 and 380 g DM/kg respectively. The DM content of the forage mixtures B, C, D and E were 278, 302, 318 and 373 g DM/kg.