Effects of Feeding Frequency on the Behavior Patterns of Dairy Cows in an Automatic Feeding System
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The objective of this study was to determine the effect of feed delivery frequency on the behavior patterns and on milk production of lactating dairy cows. The study was conducted on a commercial dairy farm. Feeding treatments of mixed ration consisted of two different frequencies replicated in two periods. Cows were fed 9 times per day (9×) and 6 times per day (6×). Lying behavior of 24 dairy cows was electronically monitored. Feeding frequency had no effect on the daily lying time and lying bouts. High feeding frequency may disturb the duration of lying bouts and alter the pattern of lying behavior throughout the day, affecting mainly the lying time before and after the provision of fresh feed. The results obtained may indicate that a very high feeding frequency disturbs the cows during their resting periods and thus influences the animal comfort.
KeywordsFeed delivery frequency Lying behavior Dairy cow Automatic feeding system (AFS)
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