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Milk performance and grazing behaviour of dairy cows in response to pasture allowance

Zanine, A. M., Motta, G. P. R., Ferreira, D. J., de Souza, A. L., Ribeiro, M. D., Geron, L. J. V., Fajardo, M., Sprunk, M., Pinho, R. M. A.
Animal production science 2019 v.59 no.4 pp. 749-756
Holstein, autumn, body weight, calving, dairy cows, forage, forage production, grazing, harvesting, milk, milk fat, milk proteins, milk yield, neutral detergent fiber, pasture management, pastures, rumination
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of pasture allowances on forage production, milk yield and composition, and grazing behaviour of Holstein cows during autumn. Thirty-six Holstein cows calving in the autumn were allocated to blocks considering: calving date, bodyweight, and body score. Treatments consisted of three pasture allowances as follows: high (HA; 38.4 kg DM/, medium (MA; 30.3 kg DM/, and low (LA; 26.8 kg DM/ pasture allowances. Forage mass and forage height pre-grazing were similar (P > 0.05) for all grazing targets. Pasture-use efficiency was affected (P < 0.05) by the pasture allowance. The highest and lowest efficiency was obtained with treatments LA and HA, respectively. The neutral detergent fibre content of forage harvesting was affected (P < 0.05) by the pasture allowance, with average of 44.8, 47.0, and 49.4 to HA, MA, and LA, respectively. There was an effect of pasture allowances (P < 0.05) on the milk yield per hectare and milk yield per cow. The highest production was observed in LA (438 L/ and the lowest in HA (314 L/ The percentage of milk fat, milk protein, and milk fat (g/ did not differ (P > 0.05) among pasture allowances. There was effect (P < 0.05) of pasture allowance with higher grazing time (369 min) and lower rumination time (23.3 min) observed to HA. Pasture allowances affected (P < 0.05) the total number of bites/day and bites/min, but did not affect (P > 0.05) bite mass. The pasture managements with low (26.8 kg DM/ pasture allowances provided better conditions for milk yield per area, likely due to the better grazing efficiency. However, pasture allowance provide little measurable changes on grazing behaviour.