Effect of Supplementary Feeding Strategies on the Performance of Stall Fed Dual-purpose Dairy Cows Fed Grass Hay-based Diets

  • Bwire, J.M.N. (Livestock Production Research Institute, P.O.) ;
  • Wiktorsson, H. (Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Received : 2002.06.18
  • Accepted : 2002.11.21
  • Published : 2003.03.01


Supplementary feeding strategies were evaluated from pre-calving throughout lactation on 24 dual-purpose Mpwapwa breed cows in their second or greater lactation, weighing 246-455 kg. The Mpwapwa breed is an established breed of 4 Bos indicus breeds and 8% of Bos taurus. The cows were penned and stall-fed individually. Eight weeks before calving to eight weeks after calving, the cows were divided into two groups and offered hay ad libitum with either 2 kg DM (L) or 4 kg DM/day (H) concentrates. Nine weeks after calving half of the cows on L-level continued with 2 kg DM/day (L-L) while the remainder received 4 kg DM concentrate daily (L-H). Half of the cows on H-group continued with 4 kg DM/day (H-H) while the remainder received 2 kg DM/day (H-L). The concentrate mixture comprised of sunflower seed cake (33%) and maize bran (67%). The cows consumed all the concentrate offered. Hay DM intake was similar (6.8 kg/day) and tended to decrease the last two weeks before calving increased again after calving. Live weight change and body condition score were similar across treatments before calving but differed after calving (p<0.05). Heavier cows with higher condition score pre-calving had a higher body weight loss and regained weight later. After treatment reallocation, live weight change and condition differed between treatments (p<0.05). Calves were allowed to suckle milk from one quarter. The amount of milk suckled and calf weight gains were not significantly different between treatments. The cows were removed from the experiment when the milk yield was below 4 kg per day. Cows on treatment H produced 6.2 kg and on treatment L 5.0 kg saleable milk/day (p<0.05) during the first 8 weeks post partum. During the period 9-18 weeks post partum the saleable daily milk on H-H, L-H, H-L and L-L were 5.2, 4.8, 4.7 and 4.3 kg, respectively (p>0.05).


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