The investigation was designed to measure the time taken to eat concentrate foods and to determine whether the type and quantity of food, the age of the cow, the length of time between feeds and the eating habits of the cow influence consumption rate.
The data indicate that the main factor affecting eating time is the quantity eaten. Within the range of 2 to 8 Ib., the larger the ration the faster the rate of eating. Further, the data show that up to 20 Ib. of concentrates can be consumed per cow per day in a parlour without any check in the faster rate of eating recorded when the higher levels of concentrates are offered.
The type of concentrate is also important: cubes are eaten faster than meal. There are considerable variations between cows in the time taken to eat.
The results of this investigation did not show any obvious effects on the time of eating of breed of cows, position of manger, nor of the length of interval between bulky and concentrate rations.
Graphs relating the eating times of cows with the times available for eating in parlours are shown, and these can be used for reference on farms in parlour planning.