Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2017
Increasing maturity at harvest of maize silage has been shown to affect feed intake and milk production in Holstein-Friesian cows (Phipps et al., 1998). The purpose of the present experiment was to determine whether the milk production response was related to improvements in the efficiency of feed energy utilisation.
Four multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows (mean live weight 620 kg) fitted with permanent cannulas in the rumen and proximal duodenum were given diets based on maize silage and grass silage (3:1 DM ratio) offered ad libitum plus 8.7 kg DM/day of a concentrate (254 g crude protein (CP)/kg DM) starting 5-10 weeks post-calving. The maize silage was harvested at four different stages of maturity as defined by DM content and ensiled without additives. The grass silage was a first-cut perennial ryegrass (260 g DM/kg, 519 g neutral detergent fibre (NDF)/kg DM, 146 g CP/kg DM).