Live weight gain, animal behaviour and urinary nitrogen excretion of dairy heifers grazing ryegrass–white clover pasture, chicory or plantain

Long Cheng, Omar Al-Marashdeh, Jeffrey McCormick, Xuefeng Guo, Ao Chen, Chris Logan, Jing Zhong Tao, Hazel Carr, Grant Edwards

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess live weight gain, animal behaviour and N excretion in the urine of dairy heifers fed herbs during autumn and spring. Sixty heifers were allocated into five dietary treatments: 100% ryegrass–white clove pasture (100RG/WC); 50% RG/WC + 50% chicory (50CH); 75% RG/WC + 25% chicory (25CH); 75% RG/WC + 25% plantain (25PL); and 50% RG/WC + 50% plantain (50PL). The 100RG/WC had the highest (5.0 times/6 h) and lowest (2.5 times/6 h) urination frequency compared with other treatments in autumn (averaged 3.5 times/6 h) and spring (averaged 4.5 times/6 h), respectively. The heifer LWG in spring was higher in 25CH (1.36 kg/day) than other treatments (averaged 1.10 kg/day). Urinary N concentration was 0.18% and 0.23% in autumn and spring, respectively, across treatments, with no difference between treatments. The study demonstrated inconsistent results of use of chicory and plantain as a mitigation tool to reduce the environmental impact of heifer rearing systems in autumn and spring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-467
Number of pages14
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Oct 2018

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