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Effect of chop length of grass silage on food intake and milk yield of dairy cows



Effect of chop length of grass silage on food intake and milk yield of dairy cows



Wirtschaftseigene Futter 43(1): 65-82



In two experiments (E1, E2) with 33 and 36 dairy cows, each, the effect of three different chop length of grass silages were investigated by measuring food intake and milk yield. The chop lengths varied from 7.4 mm, 8.2 mm to 46 mm in E1 and from 6.5 mm, 22 mm to 40 mm in E2. The silages were harvested by precision choppers with the exception of the 40 mm-grass silage in E2, which was harvested by a multiknifes self loading wagon. In E1 the grass was cut.in a late growth stage (bloom stage, 32 % crude fibre in DM of the grass silage). In E2, however, the grass was cut in an early growth stage (vegetative stage, 22 % crude fibre in DM of the grass silage). The mean DM contents of the grass silages were 38 % (E1) and 35 % (E2). The grass silages were fed ad libitum. In both experiments the diets were supplemented by a cereal mixture and a second concentrate depending on the daily milk yield. The intake of the grass silage was not significantly influenced by the chop length in both experiments. The average forage intake was 11.2 kg (E1) and 12.7 kg (E2). The forage intake was higher (1.5 kg) for the early cut (E2) than for the late cut grass silage (E1). The mean total dry matter intake amounted to 16.1 kg in E1 and to 18.2 in E2. Also, the daily milk yield was not effected by the chop length. The average milk yield was 17.3 kg and 21.9 kg in E1 and E2. Further, in E1 the milk fat content was not influenced by the chop length with a mean value of 4.67 %. In E2, however, the milk fat content increased with increasing chop length from 4.51 % (6.5 mm chop length) up to 4,69 % (22 mm chop length) and 4.87 % (40 mm chop length). The milk protein content differed from 3.40 to 3.61 % (E1) and from 3.47 to 3.59 % (E1) significantly, but there was no uniform relation between the chop length and the different values. The interactions of chop length, harvest stage of the conserved grass and level of the concentrate in the diet were discussed.

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Accession: 003105654

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