Abstract #M259

# M259
Is a pelleted feed required in an automated milking system (AMS)?
K. S. Paddick*1, S. B. Menajovsky1, G. B. Penner1, 1University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

It is recommended that a pelleted concentrate is offered to cows milked in an AMS. The previous recommendation is designed to ensure cattle can consume concentrate rapidly to enable precision feeding strategies; however, it is not clear if pelleted feeds are necessary when low quantities of concentrate are offered. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of providing barley grain that was either steam-rolled (SR) or pelleted (PEL) on DMI and milk and milk component yield. Five Holstein cows (98 ± 7.8 DIM) housed in a feed-first guided-traffic flow barn were used in a crossover design with 24-d periods. Cows were fed a common partial mixed ration (PMR) containing a 55:45 forage-to-concentrate ratio and were offered sufficient concentrate in the AMS to achieve either 2.5 kg/d of SR or PEL (DM basis). Milking permissions were granted when predicted milk yield exceeded 9 kg or when the interval from the last milking exceeded 4 h. Dry matter intake (PMR and AMS concentrate), voluntary visits to the AMS, and milk and milk component yield were measured. The form of concentrate offered in the AMS had no effect on total DMI or PMR intake with average values of 29.8 and 27.3 kg/d, respectively (P ≥ 0.79). Interestingly, cows fed PEL and SR did not differ for concentrate intake in the AMS averaging 2.48 kg/d (P = 0.16). The type of concentrate provided in the AMS did not affect variability for AMS or PMR concentrate intake among days (P ≥ 0.59). Voluntary milking frequency was not affected by form of concentrate offered in the AMS with an average of 3.51 visits/d. Milk yield (41.5 kg/d), and the yield of CP (1.43 kg/d) and fat (1.60 kg/d) did not differ among treatments (P ≥ 0.27). However, milk fat concentration was reduced for cows fed PEL compared with SR (3.82 vs. 3.92%; P = 0.03). Milk urea nitrogen tended to be reduced for cows fed PEL compared with SR (13.8 vs. 15.6 mg/dL; P = 0.10). These data indicate that, with a low quantity of concentrate allocated in the AMS, it may be possible to feed steam-rolled barley grain without negatively affecting voluntary visits to the AMS and milk component yield.

Key Words: automatic milking systems, dairy nutrition