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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 74578
Title Herbage intake by grazing dairy cows
Author(s) Meijs, J.A.C.
Source Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen. Promotor(en): M.L. 't Hart; A.J.H. van Es. - Wageningen : Pudoc - ISBN 9789022007648 - 264
Department(s) Laboratory of Field Crops and Grassland Science
Publication type Dissertation, externally prepared
Publication year 1981
Keyword(s) graslanden - melkvee - melkveehouderij - begrazing - voedergrassen - grasslands - dairy cattle - dairy farming - grazing - fodder grasses
Categories Grasslands / Cattle / Animal Nutrition and Feeding (General)
Abstract An extensive review of the literature is given of
- nine possible methods for estimating herbage intake by grazing ruminants, with special attention to the sward-cutting and indirect animal methods
- the factors determining the herbage intake by grazing ruminants.

The herbage intake of lactating cows was determined in 151 trials at Lelystad from 1976 to 1979. The pre-cut swards consisted predominantly of perennial ryegrass. A swardsampling technique was used for estimating herbage intake by cows grazing swards for 3 or 4 days (with corrections for herbage accumulation during grazing). If herbage samples were cut both with a motor scythe and a lawn~mower accurate intake figures could be obtained.

It was shown that there were no significant effects of higher levels of areic mass of herbage (by taking longer rest periods) on daily organic matter intake of herbage neither by grazing nor by stall-fed cows. However in early summer daily intake of nutrients and milk production decreased at increasing maturity; in late summer these effects were not significant. Higher levels of daily herbage allowance had significant positive effects on daily intake of organic matter of nutrients from herbage and on
daily milk production per grazing animal. High amounts of residual herbage (achieved by higher levels of daily herbage allowance) increased net regrowth of herbage, especially in early summer.

At a mean allowance level of 23 kg d -1above 4.5 cm our grazing cows consumed 13.6-14.8 kg d -1of organic matter if no concentrates were fed. This was sufficient, at the quality of herbage as in our trials, for a daily 4%-fat corrected milk production of 22-23 kg.

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