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Expert perspectives on chewing behavior in dairy cows

Effects of forage characteristics and feed-bunk management on cow health and productivity explained.

A new perspective and commentary in Applied Animal Science examines existing research on how fiber content and particle size of feed affect eating, rumination, and productive response in dairy cows. Previous studies have found that recumbent rumination is most effective because it promotes greater saliva secretion and is beneficial to the cow's overall health. In addition, research has found that longer recumbent ruminating time is linked to greater fat and protein content in milk. This article offers recommendations for forage chop length to balance eating and recumbent rumination time to optimize energy intake, health, and productivity of cows.

"In the dairy cow's ideal environment, 80% or more of daily rumination should occur while lying down," said lead author R. J. Grant, PhD, from the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute. "Recumbent rumination results in healthier rumen pH, greater DMI, and milk with greater milk fat and protein content."

Jun 05, 2023



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