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Velik M.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Friedrich E.-M.,University of Vienna | Hausler J.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Steinwidder A.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft
Zuchtungskunde | Year: 2013

In the present study, heifers (Simmental x Charolais) were fattened in two feeding regime: (1) indoor fattening with grass silage, maize silage and concentrates (2) continuous pasture and indoor finishing period (same diet as indoor heifers). Aim of the trial was to examine differences in daily gain, carcass and meat quality. Heifers were bought in spring at an average live weight of 300 kg and slaughtered at 550 kg live weight. Daily gains were high at 1.050 g in both feeding regime. Daily gains of pasture heifers had a higher variability compared with indoor heifers. In general, feeding regime had no effect on carcass performance (on average 57% killing out proportion, conformation score U, fatness score 3, 46% valuable sections). Water holding capacity (drip, cooking and grilling loss), meat colour and beef tenderness (shear force) were not affected by feeding regime. Fat colour of pasture heifers was significantly yellower compared to indoor heifers. Meat ageing (7, 14 and 21 days, respectively) had a significant effect on meat colour and beef tenderness. No differences between feeding regime were observed in meat composition (water content, protein, intramuscular fat). Contents of MUFA and fl-3 fatty acids were tendentially higher in the pasture group.

Steinwidder A.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Starz W.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Podstatzky L.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Kirner L.,Bundesanstalt fur Agrarwirtschaft | And 3 more authors.
Zuchtungskunde | Year: 2010

Regions with seasonal dairy production from pastoral systems realise low production costs. The increasing costs in energy, supplemental feeds and labour increase the interest in low input grazing strategies also in regions with disadvantaged pastoral conditions. To get novel informations on pastoral milk production in mountainous regions a research project with six pilot dairy farms (five organic, one low input) was conducted and they were supervised during the reorganisation period. Within an observation period of three years a strict annual cycle in milk production and reproduction could be implemented on two farms only. In average a pasture proportion of 42% (26-61%) of the total feeding ration per year could be determined, depending on the farm specific conditions and the implementation level of this low input strategy. On four farms, which fed low amounts of supplemental feeds, a pasture proportion of 50% of the total feeding ration was realized. With an input of only 470 kg DM concentrate (8% of DM intake) per cow and year a milk performance of 5.542 kg with 4.02% fat and 3.34% protein was achieved. Despite the lower milk yield the data based on a federal extension program reveal lower marginal costs and higher production efficiency per unit milk for the four pilot farms in comparison to the average results of the organic and conventional farms. The results clearly indicate that the full grazing strategy with seasonal calving is feasible in Austria for animal health reasons. © Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.

Steinwidder A.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Starz W.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Podstatzky L.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | Gasteiner J.,Lehr und Forschungszentrum fur Landwirtschaft | And 3 more authors.
Zuchtungskunde | Year: 2011

Dairy productions of pastoral systems aim to implement a location-adjusted low-cost strategy. The season and distribution of calving (e.g. autumn, winter, spring) have major effects on pastoral milk production systems (herd management, feed demand, milk yield etc.). An experiment with dairy cattle was conducted to compare the effects of calving season on components of pasture-based systems in a mountainous region of Austria. On an organic dairy farm three groups of cows with a mean calving date of 17 November (group 1), 25 December (group 2) and 20 February (group 3) were compared. During winter period the cows were kept in a stable and fed with grass silage, hay and a restrictive amount of concentrate.the years 2008 and 2009 the cows grazed pasture for 202 or 203 days respectively from beginning of April to end of October (177 day and night grazing days in both years). The pasture area was grazed continuously at an average sword height of 4.7 cm (RPM), the energy and crude protein content of pasture was 6.4 (± 0.33) MJ NEL and 22 (± 0.3) %CP per kg DM. Delayed calving date at the beginning of the vegetation period depressed lactation length and milk fat yield significantly and a tendency in decreased energy-corrected-milk yield was found. The average milk yields (kg) were: 6300, 5974 and 5449 (ECM), 261, 245 and 217 (fat) 200, 189 and 178 (protein) for groups 1, 2 and 3 respectively. From group 1 to 3 the amount of concentrate fed per cow decreased from 669 to 373 kg DM and the grazed pasture proportion increased from 43 to 50% of total feeding ration per year. At the beginning of the lactation period cows in group 3 lost higher amounts of live weight and body condition than in groups 1 and 2. The calving date had no effects on reproductive performance and treatments. However, at the beginning of the grazing season live weight and body condition loss and the contents of beta-hydroxy-butyric acid, free fatty acids and aspartate transaminase were highest in blood samples of group 3. © Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart.

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