PR – Early Spring Feeding Budget For Spring Calving Dairy Cows

Seventy-two spring calving Holstein Friesian dairy cows were randomly assigned to a six treatment grazing study (n=12). The 6 treatments comprised of 2 daily herbage allowances (DHA – 13 or 17 kg DM/cow/day) and 3 concentrate levels (0, 3 or 6 kg DM/cow/day) over a 77 day period. DHA and concentrate level had a significant effect on total milk yield and solids corrected milk. Results from the experiment indicate that grass silage can be removed from the diet of the spring calving dairy cow if a large proportion of grazed grass and 3kg concentrate is allocated in the early lactation period. This will result in high milk production and high herbage utilisation. Efficient use of grazed grass in early spring will allow dairy farmers remain competitive in the future.

Keywords: spring calving cow, grazing study.

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Author(s): Boland, T., McEvoy, M., Murphy, J.P., O'Donovan, M.


Organizations(s): Dairy Production Research Centre, Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, Dublin