The objective was to evaluate whether the amount of concentrate offered in an automatic milking systems (AMS) would modify milking frequency, feeding behavior, and milk production. One hundred fifteen lactating cows were used in a cross-over design with 2 periods of 90 d each and 2 treatments: low concentrate (LC; up to 3 kg/d of concentrate at the AMS) or high concentrate (LC; up to 8 kg/d of concentrate at the AMS). Cows were evenly distributed in 2 symmetrical pens, each containing 1 AMS and about 50 cows at any given time. All cows received the same total ration (28% corn silage, 1.67 Meal of net energy for lactation/ kg, 16.5% crude protein, DM basis), but a different amount of concentrate from this ration was offered at the AMS depending on treatment. The concentrate at the AMS had the same composition in both treatments. Cows were fetched when time elapsed, because last milking was greater than 12 h. The amount of concentrate offered at the AMS was proportional to the time elapsed since last visit (125 and 333 g/h for LC and HC, respectively). Milk production, total number of daily milkings, number of cows fetched, or number of voluntary milkings were not affected by treatments. The consumption of basal ration was greater in LC than in HC, but this difference was compensated by a greater consumption of concentrate at the AMS in HC than LC cows. Total dry matter intake tended to be lower, therefore, in HC than in LC cows. Eating rate of the basal ration was greater in LC than in HC, but the total amount of time that cows devoted to eat was similar between treatments. Offering high amounts of concentrate to the AMS feeding a basal ration rich in corn silage did not diminish the need for fetching cows and did not increase the number of daily milkings nor milk production. © American Dairy Science Association, 2007.
|Journal||Journal of Dairy Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2007|
- Automatic milking