Heat production, eating behavior and milk yield of lactating cows fed two rations differing in roughage content and digestibility under heat load conditions

G. Adin, R. Solomon, E. Shoshani, I. Flamenbaum, M. Nikbachat, E. Yosef, A. Zenou, I. Halachmi, A. Shamay, A. Brosh, S. J. Mabjeesh, J. Miron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to measure the effect of feeding two total mixed rations (TMRs), differing in their roughage content and in vitro dry matter digestibility, on the respiratory rate, body temperature, eating behavior and energy balance of lactating cows. The partitioning of metabolizable energy intake (MEI) between heat production (HP) and retained energy (RE) of cows held under heat load conditions was measured. Forty-two lactating cows were divided into two similar sub-groups, each of 21 animals, and were fed either a control (CON) ration containing 18% roughage neutral detergent fiber (NDF) or an experimental (EXP) TMR that contained 12% roughage NDF and used soy hulls as partial wheat silage replacer. The in vitro DM digestibility of the CON and EXP TMRs was 75.3 and 78.6%, respectively (P < 0.05). The EXP diet reduced rectal temperature and respiratory rate of the cows while increasing their number of meals per day by 32.7% as compared with the CON fed cows, and these meals were shorter in duration and were eaten faster. The EXP diet increased total DM intake from 19.6 to 21.5 kg/cow/d, milk yield from 32.3 to 34.6 kg, and yield of energy corrected milk from 30.9 to 32.2 kg, as compared with the CON group. Cows fed the EXP TMR had increased RE in milk and body tissue, as compared with the CON group, but the diets had no effect on the measured HP that was maintained similar (121 vs. 127 MJ/cow/d) in the two groups. The measured MEI (MEI = RE + HP) and the efficiency of MEI utilization for RE production, were similar in the two dietary groups.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalLivestock Science
Volume119
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Cow's eating behavior
  • Energy retention
  • Heat load
  • Heat production
  • Milk yield
  • Roughage replacement
  • Soy hulls

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