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Revista Brasileira de Saúde e Produção Animal

On-line version ISSN 1519-9940


GONZALEZ, Félix Hilario Diaz et al. Feed sorting and intake affected by the physical form and composition of the total mixed ration in dairy cows. Rev. bras. saúde prod. anim. [online]. 2015, vol.16, n.3, pp.736-745. ISSN 1519-9940.

This study observes the effects of manipulating the diet in its physical form and in cereal composition of the concentrate on sorting behaviour, feed intake, composition of milk, and degree of discomfort in dairy cows. In a commercial dairy farm with 360 mid-lactation Holstein cows (averaged 105 days), three treatments of feeding handling were applied sequentially during 120 days, each separated by periods of 30 days of resting: (1) Time of chopping of the total mixed ration (TMR): 15min (N= 180) and 23min (N= 180), (2) Physical form of the concentrate: meal (N= 180) and pellet (N= 180), and (3) Cereal composition in the concentrate: mix of corn, barley and wheat in traditional proportions (3.6:1:1) (N= 120), barley only (N= 120) and corn only (N= 120). Animals feeding TMR chopped for 23min selected less and consumed more ration, and had more milk protein and less discomfort than cows feeding TMR chopped for 15min. The physical form of the concentrate, meal or pellet, did not affect feed sorting, but the meal form resulted in greater feed intake and milk fat percentage. The type of cereal in the concentrate did not affect feed sorting but affected feed intake, milk yield and milk composition. In conclusion, it is recommended using TMR chopped during 23min instead of 15min and using the traditional mix of cereals in the concentrate (corn, barn and wheat) instead of using only one cereal.

Keywords : feed selection; milk composition; particle size.

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