Asked July 20, 2013, 4:16 AM EDT

high yielding dairy cows grazing lush pasture if not supplemented are likely to suffer from energy deficiency explain

Outside United States

1 Response

Productivity is determined, among other factors, by the efficiency with which dairy cows harvest forage. Just as in your bank account, the animal has a budget in his body with accretions and withdrawals, and when one exceeds the other they can either build up or deplete reserves. Nutrients consumed by cattle provide maintenance and production. Energy, one of the most critical nutrients for grazing ruminants, is supplied by the end products of nutrient fermentation and absorption. Energy is used to maintain body temperature, is lost as heat of fermentation, or is used while performing work (e.g. walking). An energy balance is the result of the difference between inputs (energy intake) and outputs (energy expenditure).When positive, it may result in body weight gain and increased production and reproduction. A negative energy balance, on the other hand, can decrease production and/or body condition and ultimately affect fertility. Walking while grazing or between grazing paddocks and drinking water expends energy. The distance cattle walk daily varies both within days and between days on individual farms and is generally related to pasture availability and/or accessibility. Ruminants try to match their feed intake and energy requirements. Distance traveled by grazing cattle is determined by a combination of intrinsic animal characteristics and management decisions. Grazing behavior under these conditions will be determined, among other factors, by pasture quality/ availability and level of supplementation. Supplementing cows on pasture is thus sometimes needed to achieve energy equilibrium and increase production. The amount and type of supplement to use depends on each particular situation. In general, economics plays a major role in this decision. Although immediate responses in production are often expected, the cost effectiveness of medium- and long-term supplementation programs on production and reproduction should also be considered. Best regards,