Aarhus University Seal

Comparison of the feeding behaviour of primiparous and multiparous Jersey and Holstein cows kept under equal conditions throughout lactation

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Sandra Gündel, Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Lene Munksgaard
  • Christian Looft, Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Leslie Foldager
The objective of the study was to describe the feeding behaviour of primiparous and multiparous Jersey cows compared to Holstein cows housed in separate groups in the same barn. Such information could help farmers to optimise management with respect to welfare and production. Yet, it remains limited for Jersey cows over the entire period of lactation. Feeding data of 116 Danish Jersey (mean parity 2.14 ± 1.32) and 218 Danish Holstein cows (mean parity 1.90 ± 1.16) were assessed using automatic feeders from day 15 to 252 of lactation. Total eating duration, duration of eating per visit, intervals between meals, number of visits per day and the eating rate were analysed using linear mixed effects models. The cows were kept in a loose-housing system, with cubicles and automatic milking robots, and the group composition was dynamic. Compared to Holstein cows, Jersey cows visited the feeder significantly more often with shorter between meal intervals. However, the visit duration and total daily eating time and eating rates were significantly shorter for Jersey cows. There was no difference between breeds in the daily eating time and eating rate of older cows. Younger Jersey cows had significantly lower eating rates than older Jersey cows. No other difference in parity was found within Jersey cows. Weeks in milk significantly affected the eating time per day, number of visits per day and eating rate. The trajectories of outcome variables during lactation did not differ between the two breeds. In conclusion, we found substantial differences in the feeding behaviour of Jersey and Holstein cows, however, these differences could also be related to a group effect.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Research
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

    Research areas

  • Jersey cows, breed difference, dair cattle, feeding behaviour

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 230564257