To test whether supplementing summer pasture with a balanced ration would improve milk production and liveweight compared to supplementing with silage, four groups of 12 cows were offered with grazed pasture (P), P plus silage (S), P plus a ration which balanced the diet for crude protein (CP) and carbohydrate (PB), or P plus a ration which balanced the diet for neutral detergent fibre (NDF), non structural carbohydrate (NSC) and CP, (CB). The S, PB and CB treatments produced similar milk and milk protein yields, which were higher (P<0.01) than P. Milk fat yield for PB and CB was higher (P<0.001) compared to P but not compared to S. The average liveweight gain for S and PB was 16 kg higher (P<0.01) than P. No improvement in milk production was observed to feeding supplements which balanced either total carbohydrate and CP or NDF, NSC and CP compared to silage supplements.

PG, Neil, and NA Thomson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 57, , 151-153, 1997
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