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Effect of feed allowance at pasture on the lying behaviour of dairy cows

By Keelin O’Driscoll, Eva Lewis, Emer Kennedy

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Abstract

In temperate climates where cows are primarily managed at pasture shortages of grass could result in nutritional deficits for the cow and may have a variety of behavioural consequences. Lying behaviour is one of the most researched aspects of dairy cow behaviour, and can provide insights into cow welfare and physiological state. This study investigated the effect of daily herbage allowance (DHA) on the lying behaviour of dairy cow during early lactation. Ninety-six cows were randomly assigned to one of eight treatments in a 2 × 4 factorial design; experimental duration (2 week (2 W) or 6 week (6 W)), and nutritional levels (DHA) (60%, 80%, 100% or 120% of intake capacity). Cows were assigned to treatment at 28 ± 8.4 days in milk, and lying behaviour of cows in the 6 W treatments recorded using modified voltage data loggers on 4 occasions; the week prior to the start of the experiment, during week 3 (MID), and week 6 (LATE), and 7 weeks after the study concluded (POST), when the cows were all returned to a feed allowance of 100% intake capacity. Although there was an effect of treatment on daily lying time (P 

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 213
Pages 40-46
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.02.002
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Tags
  1. Cattle
  2. Feed rations
  3. Lying
  4. pastures