Long-term study on the effects of different concentrates : roughage ratios in dairy cow feeding on performance and feed intake
Hertel-Boehnke, P.; Schneider, M.; Ettle, T.; Spiekers, H.
Zuchtungskunde 90(6): 417-429
ISSN/ISBN: 0044-5401 Accession: 066383647
The aim of this study was to investigate different intensities in roughage and amount of concentrates in terms of performance parameters such as feed intake and milk yield in order to determine the optimum level under practical conditions. 64 Fleckvieh dairy cows, 1/3 of these were primiparous, were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups. The experiment was conducted in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement. Two energy levels in roughage (6.1 = 6.1 MJ net energy lactation, NEL/kg DM or 6.5 = 6.5 MJ NEL/kg DM) were combined with two concentrate levels (low, N = 150 g/kg energy corrected milk yield, ECM or high, H = 250 g/kg ECM) (6.1N, 6.1H, 6.5N, 6.5H). Documentation of milk yield data, feed intake, body mass, as well as the body condition score (BCS), sonographic determination of back fat thickness (BFT) and milk constituents was performed. The results of this study showed that the energy supply in the group with the lowest energy level (6.1N) was largely insufficient during lactation. With regard to relevant health effects, the exact reasons for this require further investigation. Furthermore, the feeding regime in terms of concentrates amounts and roughage qualities is possible in the investigated range. Higher allocation of concentrates resulted in an increase in feed intake at the expense of roughage feed intake. Increasing contents of concentrated feed led to an increase in milk yield, but no statistical differences were observed between groups with the same roughage quality.