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Effects of variety and particle size upon utilization of fescue hay by lactating dairy cows and dairy heifers



Effects of variety and particle size upon utilization of fescue hay by lactating dairy cows and dairy heifers



Journal of Dairy Science 71(5): 1275-1282



Missouri-96 and Kentucky-31 hays were chopped with a tub grinder containing screens with apertures of 31, 63, or 100 mm in diameter and fed to dairy cows or heifers. Particle sizes (geometric mean diameter) were 1218, 1486, and 1933 micron, respectively, for the 31, 63, and 100-mm treatments. In Trial 1, the six treatments were fed ad libitum to 24 lactating cows; concentrate was offered at 1 kg/2 kg of milk. Dry matter intake and NDF digestibility were greater for Kentucky-31, but there were no other effects of variety. Particle size did not affect DM intake, DM or fiber digestibility, nitrogen partition, milk yield, or milk fat percentage. Crude protein digestibility was greatest for the 63-mm particle size treatment. In trial 2, the six treatments were fed ad libitum to 24 dairy heifers. Intake was greater for the 31 than for the 100-mm treatment but was unaffected by variety. Variety and particle size did not affect DM digestibility, nitrogen utilization, or daily gain. In this study fescue hay chopped through screens having apertures ranging from 31 to 100 mm was without effect on milk yield or composition. Reducing particle size increased intake and nitrogen utilization but not DM or fiber digestibility.

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Accession: 001583243

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 3397423

DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(88)79683-6


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