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The behaviour and productivity of mid-lactation dairy cows provided daily pasture allowance over 2 or 7 intensively grazed strips

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Verdon, M, Rawnsley, R ORCID: 0000-0001-5381-0208, Raedts, P ORCID: 0000-0001-7349-4070 and Freeman, M ORCID: 0000-0002-5079-0915 2018 , 'The behaviour and productivity of mid-lactation dairy cows provided daily pasture allowance over 2 or 7 intensively grazed strips' , Animals, vol. 8, no. 7 , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.3390/ani8070115.

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Abstract

Research into the effects of intense grazing regimes on cattle behaviour and productivity will support the ethical intensification of pastoral dairy production. Two treatments were applied to two herds of 30 mid-lactation cows over 28 days. Cows were offered an estimated 12 kg DM/cow (above 5 cm from ground level) of irrigated pasture per day. The control herd received their daily pasture allocation in two equal grazings while the experimental herd received theirs over seven smaller grazings. Backgrazing beyond the current allocation (morning or afternoon) was prevented. Individual records were taken daily for milk production and behaviour (MooMonitor+). Milk composition, energy corrected milk (ECM), and live weight were recorded weekly. Feeding mid-lactation dairy cows over seven smaller grazing allocations reduced the time cows spent ruminating (p p p p > 0.05). Cattle may have adapted their ingestive behaviour in response to the more intensive strip-grazing regime utilised in this study, with negative consequences for digestive processes and consequently milk production. Intense grazing regimes need to support the ingestive, digestive, and social behaviours of cattle.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Verdon, M and Rawnsley, R and Raedts, P and Freeman, M
Keywords: dairy cow, grazing management, moomonitor+, pastoral dairy production, strip-grazing
Journal or Publication Title: Animals
Publisher: MDPIAG
ISSN: 2076-2615
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/ani8070115
Copyright Information:

© 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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