Compact total mixed ration to dairy cows : effects on feed hygiene, feed intake, rumen environment and milk production
Sammanfattning: Total mixed rations have been used as a feeding strategy in Swedish dairy farms since the 1990’s. One risk that has been associated with total mixed ration is sorting of the ration, which can lead to a diet being consumed by the cows other than the originally intended. Sorting of the feed ration has been linked to several health and production problems in dairy cows. A development of total mixed ration, called compact total mixed ration, has recently been suggested as a way of reducing sorting of the ration. The feed ingredients of the compact total mixed ration is manipulated by soaking of all concentrates in advance and then mixed to decrease forage particle size. The compact total mixed ration has a dry matter target of 37 % and the feed components should be close to indistinguishable from each other, due to the prolonged mixing. In the present study, the effects of compact total mixed ration on feed intake, milk production and components, rumen environment, digestibility and hygienic quality was evaluated compared to a conventional total mixed ration. When compact total mixed ration was fed, dry matter intake decreased whereas total water intake increased. Milk production, milk composition and rumen environment were not affected by treatment. The effect of dietary treatments on digestibility could not be fully established. There was a tendency for milk fat yield to decrease when compact total mixed ration was fed. The hygienic quality of the diets were similar. More research is needed to evaluate the long term effects of compact total mixed ration as well as to investigate the effect of different forage proportions in the diet. Further, it was concluded that more research is needed to evaluate the effects of compact total mixed ration during summer conditions.
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