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Conference paper - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Increasing concentrate levels during the grazing season - effects on yield and behaviour of dairy cows

Alvåsen, Karin; Spörndly, Eva


In a six-week grazing trial, 27 lactating dairy cows (Swedish Red Breed) were randomly assigned to five treatments with different concentrate levels in their diet: 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60% of each cow’s energy requirement at the start of the study. The cows were fed their treatments twice daily together with 4 kg dry matter (DM) silage in the barn in connection with milking. The cows grazed together on 10.5 ha in a rotational grazing system with 6 paddocks. The average energy content and daily allowance of pasture was 10.8 MJ metabolisable energy per kg DM and 20 kg DM per cow. A 10% increase in the proportion of concentrates in the diet reduced grazing and rumination time by 4.1% (P < 0.001) and 2.1% (P < 0.01), respectively. With a 10% increase of the proportion of concentrate in the diet, milk yield increased by 1.5 kg (P < 0.001). An increase in concentrates of 1 kg gave an average response in milk yield with 0.8 kg milk. The results indicate that feeding concentrates up to 60% of energy requirements during the pasture season is profitable when concentrat prices are below 0.8 of the payment for milk


Dairy cows; grazing behaviour; milk yield; concentrate levels

Published in

Grassland Science in Europe
2010, Volume: 15, pages: 901-903
Book title: Grassland in a changing world: Proceedings ot the 23th General Meeting of the Europen Grassland Federation
ISBN: 978-3-86944-021-7
Publisher: Mecke Druck und Verlag


23th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation: Grassland in a changing world