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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SAFEGUARDING WELL-BEING OF FOOD PRODUCING ANIMALS

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Title: Feeding Behaviors of Transition Dairy Cows Fed Glycerol as a Replacement for Corn

Authors
item Carvalho, E -
item Schmelz, N. -
item White, H -
item Wilcox, C -
item Eicher, Susan
item Donkin, S -

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 21, 2012
Publication Date: December 1, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56636
Citation: Carvalho, E.R., Schmelz, N.S., White, H., Wilcox, C.S., Eicher, S.D., Donkin, S.S. 2012. Feeding Behaviors of Transition Dairy Cows Fed Glycerol as a Replacement for Corn. Journal of Dairy Science. 95:7214-7224.

Interpretive Summary: Feed sorting is a natural behavior of dairy cows that can result in inconsistencies in nutritive value of a total mixed ration. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of replacing high moisture corn with glycerol, an abundant bi-product of ethanol manufacturing, on feed sorting and feeding behavior of transition dairy cows. Feed intake did not differ between diets for the pre- and post-partum intervals. During the prepartum period, glycerol increased the eating rate and preferential consumption for long particles, but decreased the eating rate of short and fine particles, and it increased sorting against short and fine particles. There was no effect of diet on feed sorting after parturition or time spent eating, resting or ruminating. The data indicate that glycerol enhanced the preference for long particles during the prepartum interval. These data will be useful to determine changes in diets necessary for dairy use of glycerol, an abundant bi-product of ethanol manufacturing, as an energy source in dairy feeds.

Technical Abstract: Feed sorting is a natural behavior of dairy cows that can result in inconsistencies in nutritive value of a TMR. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of replacing high moisture corn with glycerol on feed sorting and feeding behavior of transition dairy cows. Twenty-six Holstein multiparous cows were paired by expected calving date and fed diets containing either glycerol or high moisture corn from -28 through +56 days relative to calving (DRTC). Glycerol was included at 11.5 and 10.8% of the ration DM for the pre- and post-partum diets, respectively. Cow activity was continuously videotaped for 24 h on -17, -10, +8, +15 and +50 DRTC. Feeding behavior was evaluated during 1 h intervals beginning at 0, 1, 5.5 and 11 h relative to feed delivery. Eating rate (g DM/h) was calculated for each interval. Feed sorting was determined during the 24-h period immediately following each videotaping session by measuring the particle size distribution of feed consumed at 4, 8, 12 and 24 h post feeding. The TMR profile at feeding and at each time point post-feed delivery was determined using the Penn State Particle Separator (PSPS) to yield long (> 19 mm), medium (<19, >8 mm), short (<8, >1.18 mm) and fine (<1.18 mm) particles. Feed intake did not differ (P > 0.05) between diets and was 14.7 ± 0.4 and 20.2 ± 0.5 kg/d for the pre- and post-partum intervals, respectively. During the prepartum period, glycerol increased (P < 0.05) the eating rate (94.2 vs. 144.4 g DM/h, control vs. glycerol) and preferential consumption (9.2 vs. 17.8%, control vs. glycerol) for long particles, but decreased (P < 0.05) the eating rate of short (383.8 vs. 332.5 g DM/h, control vs. glycerol) and fine particles (173.9 vs. 129.8 g DM/h, control vs. glycerol), and increased (P < 0.05) sorting against short (42 vs. 37.3%, control vs. glycerol) and fine particles (17.9 vs. 13.6%, control vs. glycerol). There was no effect (P > 0.05) of diet on feed sorting after parturition or time spent eating, resting or ruminating. The data indicate that glycerol enhanced the preference for long particles (>19 mm) during the prepartum interval. These data will be useful to determine changes in diets necessary for dairy use of glycerol, an abundant bi-product of ethanol manufacturing, as an energy source in dairy feeds.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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