Feed intake and production parameters of lactating crossbred cows fed maize-based diets of stover, silage or quality protein silage. uri icon

abstract

  • Thirty-six Boran x Friesian dairy cows (392 +/- 12 kg; mean +/- SD) in early parity were used in a randomised complete block design. Cows were blocked by parity into three blocks of 12 animals and offered normal maize (NM) stover (T1), NM silage (T2) or quality protein maize (QPM) silage (T3) basal diets supplemented with a similar concentrate mix. Feed intake, body weight and condition changes and milk yield and composition were assessed. The daily intake of DM, OM, NDF and ADF for cows fed the NM stover-based diet was higher (P < 0.05) than for the cows fed the NM silage and QPM silage-based diets. However, the daily intake of DOM (9.3 kg) and ME (140.8 MJ) for cows on QPM silage-based diet was higher (P < 0.05) than for cows on NM stover-based diet (8.4 kg and 124.2 MJ) and NM silage-based diet (7.9 kg and 119.1 MJ). Body weight of cows was affected (P < 0.05) by the diet, but diet had no effect (P > 0.05) on body condition score, milk yield and milk composition. The digestible organic matter in the NM stover-based diet (724 g/kg DM) was lower (P < 0.05) than that in the NM (770 g/kg DM) and QPM silage-based diet (762 g/kg DM). It was concluded that the performances of the cows on the NM silage and QPM silage diets were similar and were not superior to that of the NM stover-based diet.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010