Performance of dairy cattle under two feeding regimes, dry lot and irrigated pasture Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/c821gp31t

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  • Four experiments were conducted (1961-1964) for the primary purpose of studying the milk and milk constituent yields of dairy cows under dry lot and pasture systems of management. The secondary purpose was to compare the health and breeding performance of cows under these two systems. Ninety-eight cows of the Holstein and Jersey breeds were used. These cows were paired on the basis of breed, age, current milk production, previous lactation yields, days in milk, days in gestation and udder health and were assigned randomly to the two experimental groups. Cows in the dry lot groups were fed grass silage and alfalfa hay (periods I-III) or haylage (period IV) whereas, cows in the pasture group were strip-grazing irrigated grass-legume pastures. Both groups were also fed the same concentrate mixture twice daily. Differences in performance between the two systems were not significant statistically (P < 0.05) for the following criteria: (1) age at calving (periods I, III and IV), (2) days in milk prior to experimentation (periods I, II, and IV), (3) projected milk and milk fat records (305 day, 2X) for all periods, (4) age adjusted (M.E.) milk records (periods I, II and IV), (5) age adjusted milk fat records (periods I-IV), (6) complete records (periods I, II and IV), (7) complete lactation protein records (periods II-IV) and (8) differences between complete and incomplete projected milk and milk fat records of all 98 cows, Differences in performance were significant for the above criteria for any of those periods not given in parentheses. Data collected during the four experimental feeding periods (84, 150, 150 and 68 days, respectively) on milk, PLM, protein and milk fat yields, mastitis and reproduction showed no significant differences (P < 0.05) between the two systems except for milk fat yield which favored the pasture group during period III and number of A.I. services for conception which was higher in the dry lot group during period II. Higher levels of concentrate feeding resulted in higher milk and milk constituent yields. The results of these studies indicate that milk cows will perform equally well when subjected to dry lot or irrigated grass-legume pastures under the conditions of these experiments.
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