OpenFields

The effect of a short extended grazing period in the spring and straw allocation on the milk yield and composition of autumn calving dairy cows.

The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of extending the grazing season in spring and increasing the fibre content of the ration on the intake and performance of autumn calving dairy cows.

Year of Publication2009

Milk production from grass by autumn calving dairy cows can be increased through extending the grazing season in early spring, therefore reducing the reliance on more expensive conserved forage and concentrates (Peyraud et al., 2004). Turning cows out to pasture earlier in the spring has also been associated with an increase in milk and milk protein yield (Sayers and Mayne, 2001). In contrast, milk fat content may be decreased, possibly due to the lower fibre content of spring grass (Sayers and Mayne, 2001). The inclusion of chopped straw in the ration offers the potential of increasing dietary fibre intake and therefore maintaining milk fat levels (Ferris et al., 2000). The objectives of the current study were to determine the effect of extending the grazing season in spring and increasing the fibre content of the ration on the intake and performance of autumn calving dairy cows.

This item is categorised as follows

Additional keywords/tags

Organisation Logo for Harper Adams University

Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

Website

What Next...?

This is a brief summary of an item in the OpenFields Library. This free online library contains items of interest to practitioners and researchers in the agricultural and landbased industries.