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The behaviour and productivity of mid-lactation dairy cows provided daily pasture allowance over 2 or 7 intensively grazed strips

Citation

Verdon, M and Rawnsley, R and Raedts, P and Freeman, M, The behaviour and productivity of mid-lactation dairy cows provided daily pasture allowance over 2 or 7 intensively grazed strips, Animals, 8, (7) Article 115. ISSN 2076-2615 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.3390/ani8070115

Abstract

Research into the effects of intense grazing regimes on cattle behaviour and productivity will support the ethical intensification of pastoral dairy production. Two treatments were applied to two herds of 30 mid-lactation cows over 28 days. Cows were offered an estimated 12 kg DM/cow (above 5 cm from ground level) of irrigated pasture per day. The control herd received their daily pasture allocation in two equal grazings while the experimental herd received theirs over seven smaller grazings. Backgrazing beyond the current allocation (morning or afternoon) was prevented. Individual records were taken daily for milk production and behaviour (MooMonitor+). Milk composition, energy corrected milk (ECM), and live weight were recorded weekly. Feeding mid-lactation dairy cows over seven smaller grazing allocations reduced the time cows spent ruminating (p < 0.001), milk yield (p < 0.001), and ECM (p < 0.05). However, milk composition, live weight, time feeding, and pasture consumption were not affected by feeding frequency (p > 0.05). Cattle may have adapted their ingestive behaviour in response to the more intensive strip-grazing regime utilised in this study, with negative consequences for digestive processes and consequently milk production. Intense grazing regimes need to support the ingestive, digestive, and social behaviours of cattle.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dairy cow, grazing management, moomonitor+, pastoral dairy production, strip-grazing
Research Division:Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Research Group:Animal Production
Research Field:Animal Management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production
Objective Field:Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Verdon, M (Dr Megan Verdon)
UTAS Author:Rawnsley, R (Dr Richard Rawnsley)
UTAS Author:Raedts, P (Mr Peter Raedts)
UTAS Author:Freeman, M (Mr Mark Freeman)
ID Code:127559
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2018-08-03
Last Modified:2019-05-02
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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