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The effects of morning compared with afternoon feed delivery on milk production, feed intake, and feeding behavior in lactating dairy cows.

P. D. French

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06-23-2020

Abstract:

268
The effects of morning compared with afternoon feed delivery on milk production, feed intake, and feeding behavior in lactating dairy cows.
P. D. French*1, C. S. Shugart2. 1PHD R&D LLC Fort Atkinson, WI, 2Iowa State University Ames, IA.

Delivering fresh feed once daily in the PM versus the AM may improve feed efficiency but alters feeding behavior of cows housed in tie-stalls. We evaluated effects of once daily TMR delivery on production and efficiency of group-housed, individually fed dairy cows. Twelve, multiparous Holstein cows (110 � 13 DIM) with a preliminary milk yield of 52 � 10 kg/d were used in a crossover design with 14-d periods. The last week of each period was used for data collection. Electronic feeding stations (BioControl CRFI, Rakkestad, Norway) continuously recorded the timing of feed intake. Treatments were fed ad libitum with feed delivery 1x/d at 0830 or 1630 h. The TMR contained 54% forage, 16.4% CP, 28.2% NDF, and 27.4% starch. Cows were milked 3x/d and housed in a pen with a single row of freestalls. Data were analyzed using the mixed model procedure of SAS. Average temperature during period 1 and 2 was 23�C and 25�C, respectively. DMI was greater for PM fed cows (32.2 vs 29.4 kg/d, P < 0.01). Milk yield (52.6 kg/d), milk composition (3.6% fat and 3.0% protein), and milk component yield (1.87 kg/d fat and 1.56 kg/d protein) did not differ for time of feeding. Body weight was greater (734 vs 727 kg, P < 0.05) and BW gain tended to be greater for PM fed cows. Meals per day (9.7 vs 8.6, P < 0.05) and eating rate (159 vs 149 g DM/min, P < 0.05) were greater for PM fed cows. Daily eating time (209 vs 201 min/d, P < 0.07) tended to be greater for PM fed cows. DMI per meal, meal size, and rumination time were similar for AM and PM feeding. In the 6 h following TMR delivery, PM fed cows consumed more DM (14.2 vs 10.8 kg, P < 0.01) and spent more time eating (86 vs 66 min, P < 0.01). In the interval between 0830 and 1430 h, AM cows consumed more DM (10.7 vs 4.5 kg, P < 0.01), whereas PM fed cows consumed more DM from 1430 to 2030h (13.1 vs 10.2, P < 0.01). More importantly, PM cows consumed more DM during the 0230—0830h interval (6.5 vs 2.9 kg, P < 0.01). In conclusion, offering TMR in the PM compared with AM altered feeding behavior that led to lower feed efficiency.

Keywords: feeding behavior, feed efficiency.