Readily Available Water Access is Associated with Greater Milk Production in Grazing Dairy Herds
Simple SummaryIn Santa Catarina, Brazil, most milk is produced on small-scale farms that utilize grazing as the main form of nutrition; however, the farms differ in how they provide water for their herds, with some herds not providing access to drinking water while on pasture and other herds having unrestricted access to water. In this study, we assessed the milk production on farms that differ in the way drinking water is provided to the herd. Herds with unrestricted access to drinking water produced more milk than herds that had restricted access to drinking water, regardless of the main breed of the herd, and amount of concentrate offered per cow per day. Simple changes in water management practices may positively impact milk production.
AbstractIn this cross-sectional study, we measured the association between water provision and milk production on intensively managed small-scale grazing dairy herds. Farms (n = 53) were categorized according to water provision as follows: (1) Restricted—cows did not have access to a water trough while on pasture; and (2) Unrestricted—cows had free access to a water trough while on pasture. Herd main breed and feeding practices were included in a model to assess the effect of water provision category on farm average milk yield/cow/d. The effect of pasture condition and environmental variables on milk production were also assessed, however were not retained on the final model. Herds provided with unrestricted access to drinking water produced on average 1.7 L more milk per cow/d (p = 0.03) than herds with restricted access to drinking water. Predominantly Holstein herds produced 2.8 L more milk per cow/d (p < 0.01) than non-Holstein herds. Each extra kg of concentrate offered per day increased milk yield by 1.1 L/cow/d (p < 0.01). In conclusion, providing free access to drinking water while grazing was associated with greater milk production. View Full-Text
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Daros, R.R.; Bran, J.A.; Hötzel, M.J.; von Keyserlingk, M.A.G. Readily Available Water Access is Associated with Greater Milk Production in Grazing Dairy Herds. Animals 2019, 9, 48.
Daros RR, Bran JA, Hötzel MJ, von Keyserlingk MAG. Readily Available Water Access is Associated with Greater Milk Production in Grazing Dairy Herds. Animals. 2019; 9(2):48.Chicago/Turabian Style
Daros, Ruan R.; Bran, José A.; Hötzel, Maria J.; von Keyserlingk, Marina A.G. 2019. "Readily Available Water Access is Associated with Greater Milk Production in Grazing Dairy Herds." Animals 9, no. 2: 48.
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