A new system for feeding high-yielding dairy cows: flat rate feeding, or fixed distribution of concentrates over part of lactation

Vanbelle, M.

Bulletin des Groupements Techniques Veterinaires 5: 17-35


Accession: 001517025

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In flat rate feeding, concentrate allowances are stepped up rapidly at the beginning of lactation, and then kept constant over 6 months of lactation, for instance, at a moderate/high level rather than stepped up and then stepped down as in feeding to requirements. In trials in Belgium, Netherlands and the UK comparing flat rate feeding with feeding to requirements or step feeding under a variety of conditions (good and poor quality forage, different concentrate intakes) there were no significant differences between the 2 feeding systems in milk yield or composition when overall concentrate intake was the same. In some trials there was a tendency for milk yield and fat content to be higher with flat rate feeding, and the system is easier to operate both for individual cows and for groups. Guidelines are presented in the form of tables for concentrate allowances according to yield under a flat rate system with indoor feeding or grazing.