Grazing behaviour, physical activity and metabolic profile of two Holstein strains in an organic grazing system

Thanner, S.; Schori, F.; Bruckmaier, Rupert; Dohme-Meier, F. (2014). Grazing behaviour, physical activity and metabolic profile of two Holstein strains in an organic grazing system. Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition, 98(6), pp. 1143-1153. Blackwell Science 10.1111/jpn.12172

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The challenge for sustainable organic dairy farming is identification of cows that are well adapted to forage-based production systems. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the grazing behaviour, physical activity and metabolic profile of two different Holstein strains kept in an organic grazing system without concentrate supplementation. Twelve Swiss (HCH ; 566 kg body weight (BW) and 12 New Zealand Holstein-Friesian (HNZ ; 530 kg BW) cows in mid-lactation were kept in a rotational grazing system. After an adaptation period, the milk yield, nutrient intake, physical activity and grazing behaviour were recorded for each cow for 7 days. On three consecutive days, blood was sampled at 07:00, 12:00 and 17:00 h from each cow by jugular vein puncture. Data were analysed using linear mixed models. No differences were found in milk yield, but milk fat (3.69 vs. 4.05%, P = 0.05) and milk protein percentage (2.92 vs. 3.20%, P < 0.01) were lower in HCH than in HNZ cows. Herbage intake did not differ between strains, but organic matter digestibility was greater (P = 0.01) in HCH compared to HNZ cows. The HCH cows spent less (P = 0.04) time ruminating (439 vs. 469 min/day) and had a lower (P = 0.02) number of ruminating boli when compared to the HNZ cows. The time spent eating and physical activity did not differ between strains. Concentrations of IGF-1 and T3 were lower (P ≤ 0.05) in HCH than HNZ cows. In conclusion, HCH cows were not able to increase dry matter intake in order to express their full genetic potential for milk production when kept in an organic grazing system without concentrate supplementation. On the other hand, HNZ cows seem to compensate for the reduced nutrient availability better than HCH cows but could not use that advantage for increased production efficiency

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)

UniBE Contributor:

Bruckmaier, Rupert

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0931-2439

Publisher:

Blackwell Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lorenzo Enrique Hernandez Castellano

Date Deposited:

07 Apr 2015 15:53

Last Modified:

12 Oct 2015 15:43

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jpn.12172

PubMed ID:

24548047

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Holstein-Friesian, behaviour, dairy cow, metabolic profile, organic grazing system, pasture

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.66020

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/66020

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