Evaluation of intake, productive performance and milk quality of cows grazing Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk, with two grazing intensities during rainy season

J. J. Reyes, Yordaine Ibarra, Ana V. Enriquez, Sara Rey, Verena Torres


A simulated grazing was developed with Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk, to study the performance of dairy cows during rainy season in two grazing intensities: T1 = 75 and T2 = 150 LAU ha-1 day-1. Twenty Siboney crossbred cows were studied, between the second and third lactation, with 480 ± 8 kg of body weight (10 animals treatment-1), grazing 15 hours a
day. InfoStat statistical program, version 12.0, was used for data processing. T2 animals showed lower grass availability (P = 0.0072) and intake decrease (P = 0.0362) (24.35 vs. 17.57 and 12.77 vs. 11.33 kg DM animal-1 day-1 for availability and intake of animals of 75 and 150 LAU ha-1 day-1). No differences were reported in individual production per cow and dairy components. However, production per area increased (P = 0.0001) by 1.74 times in T2 with respect to T1 (3,279.99 and 5,722.71 kg of milk ha-1 rainy season-1, for T1 and T2, respectively). Production cost of a liter of milk increased by 11.8 % in the treatment with the lowest intensity (2.17 vs. 1.96 $ L-1, for 75 and 150 LAU ha-1 day-1). Results indicate that animals from the treatment with 150 LAU ha-1 day-1 showed
no differences in individual production, although they increased productivity per grazing area by 2,842.72 L, and decreased costs by 0.21 $ produced L-1.
Keywords: intake, production, dairy quality, balance, cost

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