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Nighttime pasture access: Comparing the effect of production pasture and exercise paddock on milk production and cow behavior in an automatic milking system

Kismul, Haldis and Spörndly, Eva and Hoglind, M. and Eriksson, Torsten (2019). Nighttime pasture access: Comparing the effect of production pasture and exercise paddock on milk production and cow behavior in an automatic milking system. Journal of Dairy Science. 102 , 10423-10438
[Journal article]

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Abstract

With increasing intensification of the dairy sector in many countries and with the introduction of automatic milking, exercise paddocks combined with full indoor feeding, as an alternative to production pasture, are being used as a compromise between farm economics and cow welfare. This study examined whether there are production benefits for high-producing dairy cows in an alternative system that uses pasture at a level of approximately 50% of the total roughage intake in the diet. In an automatic milking system with 12-h night access to the outdoor environment, we compared milk production arid behavior of cows in 2 systems: an exercise paddock combined with ad libitum grass silage indoor feeding and a production pasture combined with a restricted daytime grass silage ration. There were 20 cows in the former and 21 cows in the latter system, with the treatments running in parallel. The experiment started in late June with no complete darkness during the night, and lasted for 12 wk, with 5.6 h of darkness at the end. We therefore also explored the effect of night length on milk production and behavior parameters. All cows showed strong motivation for going outdoors and grazing when pasture access was given in early evening, but after a few hours both groups went to the barn and did not return to the pasture area during the remaining night. As the season progressed and nights became longer, cows on the exercise paddock treatment reduced time spent outdoors arid grazing time, whereas they increased time spent resting outdoors. The group on exercise paddock had a greater milk yield (kg of milk) over the experimental period than the production pasture group. The latter group also showed a greater drop in milk yield over the duration of the trial. Thus, for cows milked in an automatic milking system and offered nighttime outdoor access, no milk production benefits were observed in offering production pasture with restricted indoor silage allowance instead of an exercise paddock with ad libitum silage. We therefore suggest that automatic milking farmers with similar production levels and automatic milking-management systems as in the present experiment, who wish to include grazed grass as part of the dairy cow diet, should ensure that cows have pasture access in the afternoon and evening.

Authors/Creators:Kismul, Haldis and Spörndly, Eva and Hoglind, M. and Eriksson, Torsten
Title:Nighttime pasture access: Comparing the effect of production pasture and exercise paddock on milk production and cow behavior in an automatic milking system
Year of publishing :2019
Volume:102
Page range:10423-10438
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:FASS Inc., Elsevier Inc., American Dairy Science Association
ISSN:0022-0302
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Keywords:dairy cow, automatic milking, part-time grazing, milk yield, night grazing
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-102259
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-102259
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3168/jds.2019-16416
Web of Science (WoS)000489285000069
ID Code:16414
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:25 Nov 2019 08:24
Metadata Last Modified:25 Nov 2019 08:24

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