Selection for roughage intake of dairy cows in farms with automatic concentrate feeding systems

Ableiter, H.; Doluschitz, R.; Momm, H.; Zeddies, J.; Fewson, D.

Zuechtungskunde 63(1): 31-41


Accession: 002489262

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In this investigation feed intake was examined in 30 dairy breeding herds with automatical concentrate feeding systems. By calculating an energy balance, the amount of energy, which the cow took in by concentrate, was substracted from the need of energy for milk yield and for maintenance. The remaining need of energy is defined as roughage intake. 1. After correcting the effect of the lactation, a big difference in concentrate intake by cows with comparable milk yields was found in all herds. 2. Concerning the costs of milk production on an individual farm, the opportunity cost free gross margin per kg milk in connection with milk yield is an important selection criteria. When selecting the cows within each heard by their roughage intake or by their milk yield, big selection differences for the selection criteria and the correlated traits in the following lactation were found. 4. The computed heritabilities for roughage intake were nearly the same as the heritabilities for the milk yield.