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Herbage intake of grazing dairy cows 2. effect of herbage allowance herbage mass and concentrate feeding on the intake of cows grazing primary spring grass


Herbage intake of grazing dairy cows 2. effect of herbage allowance herbage mass and concentrate feeding on the intake of cows grazing primary spring grass



Irish Journal of Agricultural Research 25(1): 41-52



ISSN/ISBN: 0578-7483

DOI: 10.2307/25556133

Forty spring-calving dairy cows were allocated to four grazing treatments (two levels of daily herbage allowance with and without concentrate feeding). The treatments were imposed for 18 days in April 1984. Daily herbage allowances based upon sampling to ground level were 24 and 16 kg dry matter/head. Concentrates were individually fed once daily to two groups at 4.5 kg/head. Daily intake of concentrate organic matter was 3.6 kg/head. Herbage intake was measured by estimating herbage before and after grazing. Herbage mass increased from 2888 to 3504 kg organic matter/ha for the 1st and 2nd half of the experiment and herbage intake increased (p < 0.001) from 12.61 to 13.57 kg organic matter/head for low and high herbage mass, respectively. Concentrate feeding depressed (p < 0.001) daily herbage intake from 13.76 to 12.42 kg organic matter. The effect of concentrate feeding on herbage intake was not significantly different between herbage allowances. Herbage allowance affected (p < 0.001) daily herbage intake (14.65 and 11.53 kg organic matter/head for the high and low allowances, respectively). Regression analysis of daily herbage intake and daily herbage mass indicated that the relationsip was different for the two allowance treatment groups and confirmed that substitution rate of concentrate for herbage was not affected by herbage mass or herbage allowance. The regression coefficients were 0.21 and 0.07 kg/100 kg organic matter for the high- and low-allowance groups, respectively. There was no significant effect of any of the main treatments on fat-corrected milk yield. During the experimental period concentrate feeding increased (p < 0.05) milk protein yield.

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