Roughage intake of dairy cows with special consideration of the behaviour. 1. Systematic factors affecting roughage intake and behaviour at the feeding rack

Francke, H.; Junge, W.; Kalm, E.

Zuchtungskunde 62(5): 333-348


ISSN/ISBN: 0044-5401
Accession: 001938081

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From day 8 to 248 of lactation, roughage intake and feeding behaviour of German Red Pied and Black Pied dairy cows in lactation 1-7 was monitored. The cows had free access to roughage and were given performance-related concentrate. Roughage intake and behaviour were not different among breeds despite lower concentrates received by Red Pied cows. Daily roughage intake was lowest in the first lactation and did not differ in subsequent lactations despite increased concentrate intake. With increasing lactation number eating rate increased, whereas time spent at the manger and number of visits to the manger decreased. Daily roughage intake increased during lactation; with increasing eating rate, time spent at the manger varied only slightly. Number of visits to the manger increased at the start of lactation, whereas daily number of meals decreased. Depending on number and lactation stage, cows responded to increasing concentrate by decreasing roughage intake and time spent feeding. Response was weakest at the end of lactation and strongest in cows in their first lactation. With increasing DM content in the roughage, daily roughage intake, eating rate and roughage intake per meal, based on DM, increased, while number of meals decreased. On a fresh matter basis, relative daily roughage intake and eating rate decreased, while roughage intake per meal remained constant.