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GRAZING BEHAVIOUR OF DAIRY COWS AND BODY CONDITION SCORE ASSOCIATED WITH SWARD CHARACTERISTICS OF FOUR PASTURE TYPES

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2016

O. A. CASTELÁN-ORTEGA
Affiliation:
Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia (FMVZ), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, El Cerrillo Piedras Blancas, CP 50090, Toluca, Estado de México, Mexico
C. G. MARTÍNEZ-GARCÍA
Affiliation:
Instituto de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Rurales (ICAR), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, El Cerrillo Piedras Blancas, CP 50090, Toluca, Estado de México, Mexico
F. L. MOULD
Affiliation:
Department of Agriculture, The University of Reading, Earley Gate, PO Box 237 Reading, RG6 6AR, Berkshire, UK
P. DORWARD
Affiliation:
Department of Agriculture, The University of Reading, Earley Gate, PO Box 237 Reading, RG6 6AR, Berkshire, UK
G. C. MIRANDA-DE LA LAMA
Affiliation:
Departamento de Ciencias de la Alimentación, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Lerma, Av. Hidalgo poniente No. 46, Colonia la Estación, 52006, Lerma de Villada, Estado de México, Mexico
ROSY GABRIELA CRUZ-MONTERROSA
Affiliation:
Departamento de Ciencias de la Alimentación, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Lerma, Av. Hidalgo poniente No. 46, Colonia la Estación, 52006, Lerma de Villada, Estado de México, Mexico
A. A. RAYAS-AMOR
Affiliation:
Departamento de Ciencias de la Alimentación, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Lerma, Av. Hidalgo poniente No. 46, Colonia la Estación, 52006, Lerma de Villada, Estado de México, Mexico
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Summary

The objectives were to assess the following: (1) the relationship between sward height and chemical composition of four pasture types in association with grazing behaviour and body condition score (BCS) of dairy cows, and (2) the possibility of developing predictive equations of the nutrient intake and grazing behaviour within a continued grazing system. Pasture type had a significant (p < 0.01) effect on nutrient supply from January to June for all pastures investigated. Ryegrass–white clover pasture (RW) had the highest metabolizable protein and metabolizable energy, followed by kikuyu pasture (KP), which was significantly (p < 0.001) higher than native pastures 1 and 2 (NP1 and NP2). The highest values for effective grazing time, bite rate and BCS were found when dairy cows grazed RW followed by KP, NP2 and NP1. The results suggested that pasture type and sward height influenced grazing behaviour and BCS of dairy cows during the dry season. In the same vein, RW showed higher effective grazing time, bite rate, nutrient intake and BCS than the other three pastures suggesting that RW pastures that appear to be more expensive than native pastures could result in superior cow performance.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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GRAZING BEHAVIOUR OF DAIRY COWS AND BODY CONDITION SCORE ASSOCIATED WITH SWARD CHARACTERISTICS OF FOUR PASTURE TYPES
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