Effects of three short-term pasture allocation methods on milk production, methane emission and grazing behaviour by dairy cows
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionActa agriculturae Scandinavica. Section A, Animal science. 2019, . 10.1080/09064702.2019.1577912
Two short-term grazing experiments were conducted with Norwegian Red cows. In Exp 1, 24 cows were randomly assigned to one of the following three pasture allocation methods (PAM): weekly pasture allowance (7RG), grazing 1/7 of 7RG each day (1SG), or grazing as 1SG but had access to grazed part of the paddock within one week (1FG). In Exp 2, 7RG was shortened to 5 days (5RG). We hypothesized that PAM will affect sward quality, quantity, intake and production differently. Pasture chemical composition changed with advancing grazing days but were not different between treatments. Pasture intake, milk yield, and methane emission were not affected by PAM. In Exp 1, 7RG cows spent less time on grazing, whereas in Exp 2, 1FG cows spent longer on grazing than others. Patterns observed in sward quality, and behavioural and physiological adaptations of cows to short-term changes in nutrient supply may explain the observed effects.