Journal article

Evaluation of the n-alkane technique for estimating the individual intake of dairy cows consuming diets containing herbage and a partial mixed ration

MM Wright, MJ Auldist, E Kennedy, FR Dunshea, N Galvin, MC Hannah, WJ Wales



Estimation of dry matter intake (DMI) using the n-alkane technique was evaluated in lactating dairy cows fed fresh herbage and a partial mixed ration (PMR). Four dietary treatments were investigated in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment using 16 Holstein-Friesian dairy cows. Dietary treatments were combinations of low and high amounts of fresh herbage (8 or 14 kg DM/cow per day) and PMR supplement (6 or 12 kg DM/cow per day). The pre-experimental period was 14 days followed by a 10-day experimental period. Cows were housed in individual metabolism stalls to allow for accurate measurement of DMI and total fecal output. Fecal n-alkane recovery rates were calculated to determine the most accurate cor..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to G. Morris, D. Mapleson, A. McDonald, L. Dorling, T. Phillips, T. Hookey, S. Zeiro, D. Wilson, and Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR), Ellinbank farm staff for assistance with cow feeding and husbandry. The authors are also grateful for the n-alkane analysis by Teagasc Moorepark, Ireland. This research was funded by DJPR, Victoria, and Dairy Australia (Melbourne, Australia).