The effect of type of ration on feed intake was studied in a trial with 36 lactating cows of the Angus (AN), Limousin (LM) and Limousin x Red Holstein cross breeds (F1) during the first four months of lactation. Two iso-energetic rations fed ad libitum were compared: a dry ration (D) composed of hay and aftermath, and a moist ration (M, 53 % DM) composed of a mixture of hay and grass silage. The cows fed ration D consumed 0.87 kg DM more per day than those fed ration M from the second to the fourth month of lactation (P<0.001), and 0.76 kg DM more per day ov, (F1>AN>LM; P<0.001). A comparison of the ingestion data measured in this trial with the prediction formulas currently used in Switzerland revealed a systematic underestimation of feed intake. Moreover, no prediction formula took simultaneous account of the effect of ration type on the one hand, and genetic type on the other. A new prediction equation taking these new data into account will be published shortly, once the ‘suckler cow’ chapter of the Swiss feeding recommendations for ruminants (Green Book) is updated.
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Eggerschwiler L., Borda-Molina D., Seifert J., Camarinha-Silva A., Schrade S., Zähner M., Zeyer K., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.