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Article

Metabolic and Productive Response and Grazing Behavior of Lactating Dairy Cows Supplemented with High Moisture Maize or Cracked Wheat Grazing at Two Herbage Allowances in Spring

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Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Concepción, P.O. Box 160-C, Concepción 4030000, Chile
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Escuela de Graduados, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, P.O. Box 567, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
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Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Instituto de Producción Animal, Universidad Austral de Chile, P.O. Box 567, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
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Private Consultant, Osorno 5290000, Chile
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PEGASE, INRAE, Institut Agro, 16 Le Clos, F-35590 Saint-Gilles, France
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Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Autonomous University of Tamaulipas, Victoria 87049, Mexico
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Departamento de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Acuícolas, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Temuco 4780000, Chile
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Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2SB, UK
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Instituto Ciencia Animal, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, P.O. Box 567, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mirja Wilkens
Animals 2021, 11(4), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040919
Received: 10 February 2021 / Revised: 16 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 24 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ruminant Nutrition)
Energy supplements such as high moisture maize or cracked wheat increase total dry matter intake (DMI) and dairy cow performance compared to pasture-only diets. However, the effectiveness of such a feeding strategy depends upon the level of herbage allowance (HA). In this study, increasing HA from 20 to 30 kg DM/cow had no effect on milk production but increased the concentration of urea in milk and plasma regardless of the type of energy supplement offered to grazing dairy cows. These results demonstrate that in high-quality pasture, low HA is appropriate to improve milk production performance per cow and per hectare.
The aim was to determine the effect of the herbage allowance (HA) and supplement type (ST) on dry matter intake (DMI), milk production and composition, grazing behavior, rumen function, and blood metabolites of grazing dairy cows in the spring season. Experiment I: 64 Holstein Friesian dairy cows were distributed in a factorial design that tested two levels of daily HA (20 and 30 kg of dry matter (DM) per cow) and two ST (high moisture maize (HMM) and cracked wheat (CW)) distributed in two daily rations (3.5 kg DM/cow/day). Experiment II: four mid-lactation rumen cannulated cows, supplemented with either HMM or CW and managed with the two HAs, were distributed in a Latin square design of 4 × 4, for four 14-d periods to assess ruminal fermentation parameters. HA had no effect on milk production (averaging 23.6 kg/day) or milk fat and protein production (823 g/day and 800 g/day, respectively). Cows supplemented with CW had greater protein concentration (+1.2 g/kg). Herbage DMI averaged 14.17 kg DM/cow.day and total DMI averaged 17.67 kg DM/cow.day and did not differ between treatments. Grazing behavior activities (grazing, rumination, and idling times) and body condition score (BCS) were not affected by HA or ST. Milk and plasma urea concentration increased under the high HA (+0.68 mmol/L and +0.90 mmol/L, respectively). Cows supplemented with HMM had lower milk and plasma urea concentrations (0.72 mmol/L and 0.76 mmol/L less, respectively) and tended (p = 0.054) to have higher plasma β-hydroxybutyrate. Ruminal parameters did not differ between treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy supplementation; grazing management; milk production; metabolic response; ruminal function energy supplementation; grazing management; milk production; metabolic response; ruminal function
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MDPI and ACS Style

Merino, V.M.; Leichtle, L.; Balocchi, O.A.; Lanuza, F.; Parga, J.; Delagarde, R.; Ruiz-Albarrán, M.; Rivero, M.J.; Pulido, R.G. Metabolic and Productive Response and Grazing Behavior of Lactating Dairy Cows Supplemented with High Moisture Maize or Cracked Wheat Grazing at Two Herbage Allowances in Spring. Animals 2021, 11, 919. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040919

AMA Style

Merino VM, Leichtle L, Balocchi OA, Lanuza F, Parga J, Delagarde R, Ruiz-Albarrán M, Rivero MJ, Pulido RG. Metabolic and Productive Response and Grazing Behavior of Lactating Dairy Cows Supplemented with High Moisture Maize or Cracked Wheat Grazing at Two Herbage Allowances in Spring. Animals. 2021; 11(4):919. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040919

Chicago/Turabian Style

Merino, Verónica M., Lorena Leichtle, Oscar A. Balocchi, Francisco Lanuza, Julián Parga, Rémy Delagarde, Miguel Ruiz-Albarrán, M. J. Rivero, and Rubén G. Pulido 2021. "Metabolic and Productive Response and Grazing Behavior of Lactating Dairy Cows Supplemented with High Moisture Maize or Cracked Wheat Grazing at Two Herbage Allowances in Spring" Animals 11, no. 4: 919. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040919

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