Performance, body fat reserves and plasma metabolites in Brown Swiss dairy cows: Indoor feeding versus pasture-based feeding.

Frey, H-J; Gross, J J; Petermann, R; Probst, S; Bruckmaier, Rupert; Hofstetter, P (2018). Performance, body fat reserves and plasma metabolites in Brown Swiss dairy cows: Indoor feeding versus pasture-based feeding. Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition, 102(2), e746-e757. Blackwell Science 10.1111/jpn.12829

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Feeding dairy cows indoors or on pasture affects not only labour, machinery and housing costs, but also animals' performance and metabolism. This study investigates the effects of indoor feeding (IF) with a partial-mixed ration (PMR) versus pasture-based feeding (PF) on milk production, fertility, backfat thickness (BFT), body weight (BW) loss and energy metabolism of Brown Swiss (BS) dairy cows with similar genetic production potential. The IF herd consisted of 13 cows fed a PMR composed of maize and grass silage plus protein concentrate according to each cow's requirements. The PF herd consisted of 14 cows offered barn-ventilated hay ad libitum after calving from January until March and grazed on semi-continuous pastures during the vegetation period. The IF cows produced more energy-corrected milk (ECM) per standard lactation (9,407 vs. 5,960 kg; p < .01), more milk fat (378 vs. 227 kg; p < .01) and milk protein (326 vs. 215 kg; p < .01). The calving interval (377 vs. 405 days; p < .01) and time empty (86 vs. 118 days; p < .01) were shorter in the PF compared to IF, possibly also due to different selection criteria for maintaining the respective seasonal calving rhythm. The empty body fat loss calculated according to BCS until its nadir was higher in IF cows (IF: 10.4 vs. PF: 4.8 MJ/day; p < .01), but no differences were noted in total body fat loss estimated via BFT (p = .24). However, PF had lower blood glucose concentration at all investigated time points, but no differences occurred in serum non-esterified fatty acid and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations post-partum. In conclusion, BS cows were equally well suited for the IF with PMR and the PF system investigated here without developing a prominent metabolic load despite differences in nutrient supply. As such, investigated BS dairy cows in our trial seem to have a high capacity for metabolic adaptation to different production systems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Experimental Clinical Research
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Gross, Josef Johann and Bruckmaier, Rupert

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0931-2439

Publisher:

Blackwell Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Josef Johann Gross

Date Deposited:

17 Apr 2018 16:35

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 06:15

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jpn.12829

PubMed ID:

29105171

Uncontrolled Keywords:

body reserves dairy cow metabolic adaptation pasture performance

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.113209

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/113209

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