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Milk production and cow behaviour in an automatic milking system with morning and evening pasture access

Kismul, Haldis; Eriksson, Torsten; Höglind, Mats; Naess, Geir; Spörndly, Eva


Legislation in Sweden and Norway requires that dairy cattle have outdoor access in summertime. Pasture utilization can be challenging with high yielding cattle and large herd-sizes. Therefore, many farmers choose to offer their cows access to an exercise- and recreation area only, rather than a full production pasture. However, is an exercise paddock as attractive as production pasture for the cow? We compared part-time production and exercise grazing in an automated milking system, with outdoor access in the morning (4.5 h) and the evening (4 h). The production pasture group (P) was offered fresh production pasture daily (≥15 kg dry matter (DM) cow-1) and given a limited silage ration (6 kg DM) night-time. The exercise pasture group (E) was given access to a small exercise paddock (<1 kg DM cow-1) and were fed silage ad libitum 24 hours. Milk yield did not differ significantly: 36.1 kg for P and 36.0 kg for E. However, behaviour differed (P<0.0001), with 5.5 (P) and 2.6 h (E) spent outdoors, and 3.7 (P) and 0.6 h (E) grazing time. In conclusion, while milk-yields were similar between the groups, lower amounts of supplementary feed were needed for cows on treatment P, who also spent longer hours outdoors and grazing.


dairy cows, automatic milking, grazing, restricted grazing, supplements

Publicerad i

Grassland Science in Europe
2016, nummer: 21, sidor: 137-139 Titel: The multiple roles of grassland in the European bioeconomy. Proceedings of the 26th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation
eISBN: 978-82-17-01677-9
Utgivare: Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research


26th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation