Optimising feed is a key challenge for dairy livestock systems, as forage stock shortages are increasingly frequent and feed is the biggest operating cost. The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of reducing forage quantity and access time on dairy performance and animal nutritional status during indoor feeding. Twenty-seven Montbéliarde and Holstein cows were randomly allocated to three groups of nine cows balanced by breed, parity, days in milk, and milk yield. The three groups were given 3.9 kg DM/day of second-cut hay and 4.5 kg/day of concentrate and either i) ad libitum access to first-cut hay (Ad Libitum group; AL), ii) 10.5 kg/day of first-cut hay (Quantity-restricted group; QR), or iii) 10.5 kg/day of first-cut hay but with access time restricted to only 2 h in the morning and 2 h in the afternoon (Quantity-and-Time-restricted group; QTR). Milk yield, composition and coagulation properties, cow nutritional status (weight, body condition score, blood metabolites) and cow activities were recorded. The AL group ingested 10 % more feed than the QR group and 16 % more feed than the QTR group. Organic matter digestibility was lower in the AL group than in the QR and QTR groups whereas feed efficiency did not differ. Milk yield was not significantly different among the three groups. Compared to the QR and QTR groups, the AL group had significantly higher milk fat (35.9 vs 32.9 and 32.8 g/kg of milk) and milk protein content (29.5 vs 27.7 and 28.5 g/kg of milk). QR and QTR cows mobilised their body fat, resulting in a lower final body condition score, and tended to have a lower blood non-esterified fatty acid concentration than the AL group. QTR cows showed greater body fat mobilisation, but their final corrected BW was not different from AL cows. Access-time restriction did not impact fat and protein content but led to decreased casein, lactose contents and casein-to-whey protein ratio. The forage savings achieved through this feed management practice could prove economically substantial when forage prices increase. This practice can be of interest in grassland systems to overcome certain climatic hazards without having to resort to purchases or to increase the farm's forage autonomy.

Effects of forage quantity and access-time restriction on feeding behaviour, feed efficiency, nutritional status, and dairy performance of dairy cows fed indoors

Natalello A.;
2022

Abstract

Optimising feed is a key challenge for dairy livestock systems, as forage stock shortages are increasingly frequent and feed is the biggest operating cost. The aim of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of reducing forage quantity and access time on dairy performance and animal nutritional status during indoor feeding. Twenty-seven Montbéliarde and Holstein cows were randomly allocated to three groups of nine cows balanced by breed, parity, days in milk, and milk yield. The three groups were given 3.9 kg DM/day of second-cut hay and 4.5 kg/day of concentrate and either i) ad libitum access to first-cut hay (Ad Libitum group; AL), ii) 10.5 kg/day of first-cut hay (Quantity-restricted group; QR), or iii) 10.5 kg/day of first-cut hay but with access time restricted to only 2 h in the morning and 2 h in the afternoon (Quantity-and-Time-restricted group; QTR). Milk yield, composition and coagulation properties, cow nutritional status (weight, body condition score, blood metabolites) and cow activities were recorded. The AL group ingested 10 % more feed than the QR group and 16 % more feed than the QTR group. Organic matter digestibility was lower in the AL group than in the QR and QTR groups whereas feed efficiency did not differ. Milk yield was not significantly different among the three groups. Compared to the QR and QTR groups, the AL group had significantly higher milk fat (35.9 vs 32.9 and 32.8 g/kg of milk) and milk protein content (29.5 vs 27.7 and 28.5 g/kg of milk). QR and QTR cows mobilised their body fat, resulting in a lower final body condition score, and tended to have a lower blood non-esterified fatty acid concentration than the AL group. QTR cows showed greater body fat mobilisation, but their final corrected BW was not different from AL cows. Access-time restriction did not impact fat and protein content but led to decreased casein, lactose contents and casein-to-whey protein ratio. The forage savings achieved through this feed management practice could prove economically substantial when forage prices increase. This practice can be of interest in grassland systems to overcome certain climatic hazards without having to resort to purchases or to increase the farm's forage autonomy.
Feed self-sufficiency
Feeding costs
Indoor feeding
Milk production
Time-restricted feeding
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/537121
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