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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Is the total mixed ration the best option for feeding crossbred dairy cows using diets based on cactus cladodes on family farms?

dos Santos, Diego Amorim; Cariri Chagas, Juana Catarina; Vieira de Oliveira, Julio Cesar; dos Santos, Djalma Cordeiro; de Oliveira Moraes, Glaucia Sabrine; de Souza, Felipe Gusmao; Silva, Janaina de Lima; de Figueiredo Monteiro, Carolina Correa; Ferreira, Marcelo de Andrade


The study aimed to evaluate the effects on the performance of lactating cows of different strategies for supplying diets based on cactus cladodes. Eight Girolando cows at 97 ?? 7.6 days into lactation, producing 12.2 ?? 0.26 kg milk/day, were assigned to 4 treatments in two 4 ?? 4 Latin squares. The feeding strategies were: total mixed ration (TMR) based on a mixture of concentrates, cactus cladodes [Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw.] and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) fed after milking; concentrate fed during milking with cactus cladodes and sugarcane offered later (Con/CC+SC); cactus cladodes combined with concentrate fed after milking with sugarcane offered later (CC+Con/SC); and sugarcane combined with concentrate fed after milking with cactus cladodes offered later (SC+Con/CC). Intakes of neutral detergent fiber (NDF; 4.54 ?? 0.09 kg/d) and total digestible nutrients (TDN; 9.30 ?? 0.50 kg/d) were similar (P>0.05) for all feeding strategies and there was no effect of feeding strategy on milk yield (12.2 ?? 0.26 kg/d). The different feeding strategies did not change the ingestive behavior or performance of lactating Girolando cows. Since the shortage of labor prohibits the feeding of TMRs on family farms because of labor required for preparation, these rations would be appropriate only on large farms where the costs of machines to prepare diets efficiently might be available. Cows fed concentrate during milking spent longer to consume the concentrate than the time to milk, resulting in inefficient usage of scarce labor. Appropriate feeding strategies for family farms appear to be SC+Con/CC and CC+Con/SC, i.e. partial separation of dietary ingredients, and all feeding should be done after milking.


Dairy feeding management; dryland farming; family farming; Girolando cattle; Opuntia stricta; Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales (ISSN; 2346-3775)

Published in

Tropical grasslands-Forrajes tropicales
2022, volume: 10, number: 2, pages: 124-133

Authors' information

dos Santos, Diego Amorim
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden
Vieira de Oliveira, Julio Cesar
Agron Inst Pernambuco
dos Santos, Djalma Cordeiro
Agron Inst Pernambuco
de Oliveira Moraes, Glaucia Sabrine
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE)
de Souza, Felipe Gusmao
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE)
Silva, Janaina de Lima
Universidade Federal do Oeste da Bahia
de Figueiredo Monteiro, Carolina Correa
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE)
Ferreira, Marcelo de Andrade
Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE)

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

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