Roughage intake of dairy cows with special consideration of the behaviors 2. communication equations for the estimation of the roughage intake
Francke, H.; Junge, W.; Kalm, E.
Zuechtungskunde 62(6): 468-480
The present study is based on data about the roughage intake and the behaviour at the feeding rack of 65 dairy cows (red and black pied, lact. nb. 1 to 7; day of lact. 8 to 248), which were observed from December 1986 until June 1988 in the free stall barn on the research farm "Karkendamm" of the Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry of the Christian-Albrecht-University in Kiel. A roughage mixture was fed ad libitum, while the concentrate was fed according to the milk yield. The daily roughage intake depends on the eating rate (r = .62) and the intake per meal (r = .69). Compared with all other characteristics of behaviour, the closest correlation remains between the daily roughage intake and the daily time spent at the feeding rack (r = ,47). For the evaluation of different equations, the data of the cows were divided in two different datasets, to calculate estimates for the equation of estimation with one dataset and to test them with the second. In the equation for the estimation of the daily DM-intake roughage, which is based on the registration of the daily time and number of visits at the feeding rack, the knowledge of the actual DM-content of the roughage is of greater importance than that of the number and the stage of lactation, whereas the knowledge of the concentrate intake is less important. If the equation for the estimation is extended by behaviour characteristics, which can be derived from the time pattern of behaviour, the precision of the estimation will be increased. When the best equation is applied to a testing dataset the mean recorded and estimated intake (DM) of individual cows is correlated (Spearman rank correlation coefficient) with rs = .71.