Effect of Total Mixed Ration on Dry Matter Intake, Milk Yield and Composition of Early Lactating Jersey Cows

Dejene Teshome


A study was conducted to investigate the comparative advantages of feeding total mixed ration (TMR) over conventional feeding in terms of dry matter intake, milk yield and milk composition of early lactating Jersey cows at Holeta Research Center. Ten early lactating Jersey cows (5th day after parturitions with more or less similar lactation performance but differing in parity one through five) were subjected to TMR and conventional feeding. Two cows from each parity (parity one to five) were selected and randomly assigned to the two feeding systems in five replicates. The two dietary treatments consisted of the same basal diet and concentrate. Natural grass hay (60%) and concentrate mix 40 %( 25% Wheat barn, 20% Noug seed cake, 16% Cotton seed cake, 36% Molasses, 2% Urea and 1% salt). Natural pasture hay was chopped in to 2-5 cm pieces and properly mixed with formulated dairy concentrate mix to prepare the total mixed ration for the TMR group and Natural pasture hay (basal feeds not chopped) with original size and formulated concentrate mix were separately given for the control group. Significantly higher (P<0.05) DM intake was observed for lactating cows fed TMR compared to cows fed conventional feeds. Significantly higher (P<0.001) daily milk yield was observed for cows fed TMR than cows fed conventional feed while there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in milk composition between the two treatments. The feed conversion ratio was significantly (P<0.05) lower for the TMR group than control group implying that the TMR group consumed less dry matter to produce one liter of milk compared to the control group. Therefore, it is recommended to use TMR for better utilization of low quality feed resources for early lactating Jersey cows to increase milk production on dairy farms.

Keywords: TMR, Jersey cows, concentrate, Natural grass hay, early lactation.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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