Effects of varying the energy and protein supply to dry cows on high-forage systems

JM Moorby, RJ Dewhurst, RT Evans, WJ Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A total of 57 Holstein–Friesian dairy cows were used to investigate the effect of dry period energy and protein intake on performance in the early part of the subsequent lactation, when animals were given a single diet based on low-quality grass silage. Animals were balanced for parity across four dietary treatments for the last 5 weeks of gestation. Four dietary treatments were offered in factorial arrangement of high and low energy forages offered ad libitum with or without a high protein supplement. The two forage treatments were a ryegrass silage only and a mix of the same silage and barley straw (60:40 on a dry matter basis), and the protein supplement was 0.5 kg/day high protein maize gluten meal. Dry period diet forage intake was significantly higher for silage diets than for silage and straw mix diets but was not affected by the protein supplement. At 3 weeks before calving, N balance was significantly greater on the silage diets, and was significantly increased by the protein supplement. A period of 1 week before calving, there was no difference between treatments in body weight or body condition score. After calving, there were no residual effects of dry period treatment on feed intake, although milk and protein yields were significantly higher for the first month of lactation from animals previously offered the two silage-based diets; there was no effect of protein supplement. Subclinical ketosis in the animals may have limited all animals, production capabilities, which was lower than expected for the genetic potential of the animals, due to poor early lactation diets. It is concluded that improved dry period nutrition cannot compensate for poor early lactation diets to enable cows to achieve good production levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
JournalLivestock Production Science
Volume76
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPrint publication - Aug 2002

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forage
protein supplements
cows
dry period (lactation)
silage
energy
diet
proteins
calving
grass silage
early lactation
animals
lactation
feed intake
barley straw
corn gluten meal
ketosis
residual effects
parity (reproduction)
animal production

Cite this

Moorby, JM ; Dewhurst, RJ ; Evans, RT ; Fisher, WJ. / Effects of varying the energy and protein supply to dry cows on high-forage systems. In: Livestock Production Science. 2002 ; Vol. 76, No. 1-2. pp. 125-136.
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Effects of varying the energy and protein supply to dry cows on high-forage systems. / Moorby, JM; Dewhurst, RJ; Evans, RT; Fisher, WJ.

In: Livestock Production Science, Vol. 76, No. 1-2, 08.2002, p. 125-136.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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