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Knaus, W; Margreitter, K; Willam, A; Furst-Waltl, B.
(2017): Performance and live weight changes in dairy cows of varying milk performance levels kept on an Alpine pasture
ZUCHTUNGSKUNDE. 2017; 89(4): 242-253.

Roughly 10% of all dairy cows in Austria are kept on Alpine pastures during the summer months. Keeping higher-yielding dairy cows on Alpine pastures is increasingly controversial, as animalsxxx nutritional requirements have changed due to the increased lactation performance. For this reason, this study analyzed the milk performance and live weight change of 88 Brown Swiss and 35 Holstein cows, kept on the Alpine pasture Gamperdona (1,370 m) in the province of Vorarlberg (close to Swiss border) over the course of an Alpine pasture season of 3 months. The cows were divided into 3 performance groups. In addition to pasture both during the day and at night, concentrates and hay were supplemented daily in amounts of 5.3 kg maximum and 0.4 kg (dry matter) per cow, respectively. Average daily milk performance was 24.1, 20.8, and 18.1 kg for group 1 (n = 40), 2 (n = 40), and 3 (n = 43), respectively. Therefore, the performance levels in groups 2 and 1 were 15% and 33% higher than in group 3, respectively. Day of pasture season and performance group had a significant effect on change in daily milk yield. By the end of the Alpine pasture season, milk performance had dropped by 28% in groups 1 and 3 and by 25% in group 2. Day of pasture season, but not the performance group, had a significant effect on live weight. On day eight of the pasture season, live weight of the cows in group 1 was 603 kg, animals in the two other groups were lighter by 18 kg (-3%). During the following 22 days, the live weight of cows in groups 1, 2, and 3 increased by 17 kg (2.8%), 10 kg (1.7%), and 27 kg (4.6%), respectively. After this time, live weight in all 3 groups hardly changed until the end of the Alpine pasture season.
Authors BOKU Wien:
F├╝rst-Waltl Birgit
Knaus Wilhelm Friedrich
Willam Alfons

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Dairy cows
Alpine pasture
performance level
live weight change

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