Diet change from a system combining total mixed ration and pasture to confinement system (total mixed ration) on milk production and composition, blood biochemistry and behavior of dairy cows
Grille, L.ía.; Adrien, M.L.; Olmos, M.; Chilibroste, P.; Damián, J.P.
Animal Science Journal 90(11): 1484-1494
This study aimed to determine if a diet change from a mixed system to a confinement system affects the milk production and composition, behavior and blood biochemistry of dairy cows. Cows were assigned randomly to one of the two treatments: cows fed with TMR (total-mixed-ration) (confined) throughout the period group fed TMR (GTMR, n = 15) and cows that changed their diet from pasture plus TMR to exclusive TMR at 70 ± 14 DIM (GCHD, n = 15). GTMR cows produced more milk and greater lactose and protein yield before the change of diet than GCHD cows (p ≤ .01), but these differences disappeared after the change. GCHD cows decreased the frequency of rumination and lying from before to after the change (p ≤ .03), but in GTMR cows no changes were observed. After diet change, GCHD cows had lower frequency of rumination and lying than GTMR cows (p ≤ .02). Before the change, GCHD cows had greater NEFA (non esterified fatty acids) concentrations than GTMR cows (p = .002). Abrupt change from a mixed system to a confined system was favorable on blood biochemical and milk variables of dairy cows. However, in relation to behavior, the cows expressed difficulties to adapt quickly to the abrupt change of system.