Effect of live body weight on the feed intake and feed conversion efficiency of lactating dairy cows

Farhomand, P.; Holmes, C.W.

Journal of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran 50(3/4): 79-87


Accession: 002814567

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The relationship between liveweight, milk yield and feed intake of Holstein cows was measured in 2 experiments. The first experiment comprised 30 grazing cows and the second comprised 16 cows fed indoors on fresh pasture harvested daily. All cows were similar in age, parity, stage of lactation and had similar milk yields, but had different liveweights. Feed intake by grazing cows, calculated from estimated faecal outputs, was measured using chromic oxide as the indigestible marker. The relationship between daily metabolizable energy intake (MEI), daily milk energy output, liveweight and daily changes in liveweight were measured by multiple regression analysis. The results showed that liveweight had a significant effect on MEI (at a common milk energy output) and therefore on feed conversion efficiency. Cows with lower liveweights had a higher feed conversion efficiency.