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Effects of feeding frequency on energy balance and energy utilization in nonlactating and lactating cows



Effects of feeding frequency on energy balance and energy utilization in nonlactating and lactating cows



Zeitschrift fuer Tierphysiologie Tierernaehrung und Futtermittelkunde 44(4-5): 279-289



Two respiration trials were conducted to determine the effect of feeding frequency on heat production and the retention and utilization of energy. Experiment I was designed as crossover trial with 3 treatments and 9 nonlactating cows and experiment II as single reversal trial with 2 treatments and 8 lactating cows. The 3 treatments in experiment I were twice daily forage and concentrate, twice daily forage and 8 times concentrate and 10 times forage and concentrate per day. In experiment II forage and concentrate were fed twice a day or forage twice and concentrate 6 times daily. The experimental diets had a severely restricted crude fiber content of 16% in the dry matter of the total ration. In experiment I, heat production was .apprx. 3 MJ/d [day] lower with twice daily forage and concentrate compared with the higher frequencies of feeding. Energy retention and energy utilization increased complementary to the heat exchanges. In experiment II heat production decreased from 97.4-94.0 MJ/d and energy retention by body tissues improved from 8.3-12.3 MJ/d when the animals were fed concentrate 6 times daily compared to twice daily. The excretion of milk energy was not influenced by these treatments. Partial efficiency of total energy retention (milk energy and body tissue energy) amounted to 60 and 64.3% when concentrate was fed twice or 6 times daily, respectively. Assuming the maintenance energy requirement to be 293 kJ/kg0.75 according to the net energy lactation system the corresponding efficiency values were 61.5 and 64.1%. Possible reasons for the results and the practical significance of the findings regarding feeding frequency and energy requirements for maintenance and lactation are discussed.

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