Effect of concentrate feeding frequency versus total mixed ration on lactational performance and ruminal characteristics of Holstein cows

Fan YangKwang; Lin YaunLung; Chen KuenJaw; Chiou WenShyg

Asian Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 15(5): 658-664


ISSN/ISBN: 1011-2367
Accession: 003725960

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This study was conducted to determine a proper feeding regime for lactating Holstein [Holstein-Friesian] cows during the warm season in Taiwan. In the feeding trial, 21 lactating Holstein cows were randomly allotted into 3 feeding regimes in a completely randomized design. The feeding regimes were roughage fed ad libitum along with concentrate fed either twice daily (2C) or 4 times daily (4C), and total mixed ration (TMR) for 8 weeks. No significant differences among the 3 feeding regimes were found in body weight changes, and intakes in terms of dry matter, crude protein, and net energy. For milk yield and 4% FCM yield, 4C were higher than the other 2 feeding regimes (P<0.05). No significant differences were found in milk compositions or differences noted in the yields of the respective milk components. TMR was worse than 2C and 4C (P<0.05) in milk production efficiencies in terms of dry matter intake per kg milk yield, crude protein intake per kg milk protein yield, as well as dry matter intake, net energy intake, and crude protein intake per kg 4% FCM yield. Three ruminally fistulated Holstein dry cows were randomly assigned into the same feeding regimes in a 3x3 Latin Square Design. No significant differences were found among the feeding regimes in ruminal pH, ammonia nitrogen, total VFA concentration, molar percentages of VFA, and acetic acid:propionic acid ratio (C2/C3). It is concluded that roughage fed ad libitum and concentrate fed 4 times daily was the better feeding regime for lactating cows during the warm season in Taiwan.