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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2002;15(5): 650-657.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2002.650    Published online January 1, 2002.
Effects of Natural Grass Forage to Concentrate Ratios and Feeding Principles on Milk Production and Performance of Crossbred Lactating Cows
M. V. Sanh, H. Wiktorsson, L. V. Ly
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of forage:concentrate ratios and feeding principles on milk yield, milk composition, body weight change, postpartum oestrus and feed cost. A total of 36 crossbred F1 cows (Holstein Friesian Local Yellow) in the 8th week of lactation were used. In each experiment, animals were divided into three groups using a randomized block design according to the milk yield of the previous eight weeks. Cows were fed 30, 50 and 70% concentrate in the diet based on DM. In experiment 1 (Fc), cows were given the same amount of DM with constant ratios of forage and concentrate within treatments. In experiment 2 (Fa), cows were given the same constant amounts of concentrate as in experiment 1 and ad libitum forage. The forage consisted of a natural grass mixture based on 5 species of grasses with high nutritive values. There was no difference in total DM intake between treatments within experiments. However, cows fed forage ad libitum had higher DM intakes compared to cows fed constant forage (1.6, 4.5 and 9.5% for cows fed 70, 50 and 30% forage, respectively). Daily milk yield of cows fed forage ad libitum was higher than that of cows fed constant forage:concentrate ratio. Within experiment, milk yield was highest for cows fed 30% DM forage, followed by cows fed 50% and then cows fed 70% forage (11.17, 10.98 and 10.71 for the 30Fc, 50Fc and 70Fc cows; 11.73, 11.16 and 10.81 kg for the 30Fa, 50Fa and 70Fa cows, respectively). Decreased forage ratio in the diets resulted in decreased milk fat content and tended to increase milk protein. Increased concentrate ratio in the diet and feeding forage ad libitum increased body weight gain. The effect of forage:concentrate ratio on postpartum oestrus was not significant. The feed cost per kg milk produced was lowest for the cows fed 70% forage. It is concluded that increased ratio of concentrate resulted in increased body weight gain, milk yield, milk protein, and decreased milk fat. Feeding forage ad libitum increased feed intake, milk yield and body weight gain. The ratio of 50% forage is more suitable for milk production and animal condition, but in terms of feed cost and under the conditions of small dairy farmers, the 70% ad libitum forage feeding is recommended.
Keywords: Crossbred Cows; Natural Grass; Forage:Concentrate Ratio; Milk Production; Postpartum Oestrus; Body Weight Change

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