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The effects of concentrate supplements on the performance of dairy cows offered grass silage ad libitum

  • R. Laird (a1), J. D. Leaver (a1), F. R. Moisey (a1) and M. E. Castle (a2)
Abstract

Ninety-six lactating British Friesian cows were offered ad libitum two grass silages having the following analyses: 181 and 241 g dry matter per kg fresh weight, 108 and 96g digestible crude protein per kg dry matter and 617 and 619 g digestible organic matter per kg dry matter. In addition, four concentrate supplements were offered, containing either 360 g crude protein per kg on an air-dry basis and given at the rate of 015 kg/kg milk or 180 g crude protein per kg given at the rate of 030, 0375 and 0·45 kg/kg milk. Large and highly significant differences were recorded in silage intake, mil yield, milk composition, live weight and condition score during the winter feeding period. These differences in performance were associated more with differences in energy than in protein intake. During the post-experimental grazing period no significant differences between treatments were recorded in milk yield and composition, with the exception of fat concentration, and by midsummer no significant differences were apparent in live weight. The results of the experiment were appraised in economic terms and implications for commercial practice discussed.

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Animal Science
  • ISSN: 1357-7298
  • EISSN: 1748-748X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal-science
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