Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research

Lelystad, Netherlands

Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research

Lelystad, Netherlands

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Zom R.L.G.,Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research | Andre G.,Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research | van Vuuren A.M.,Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research
Livestock Science | Year: 2012

A study was undertaken to develop a model for the prediction of dry matter intake by lactating Holstein Friesian dairy cows. To estimate the model parameters, a calibration dataset was compiled with the data from 32 feeding experiments conducted at 9 different sites. The database contained weekly information on 1507 lactating Holstein Friesian dairy cows regarding their diet composition and feed analysis, together with their individual voluntary feed intake, milk yield (MY), milk composition, parity, days in lactation and days pregnant.Dry matter intake was predicted from feed and animal characteristics. The feed chemical composition and digestibility can be related to feed degradation, bulk volume, intake rate, palatability and other factors influencing feed intake. Therefore, the data of standard feed analysis were used to estimate the satiety value of numerous commonly used feeds and forages. The satiety value is the measure of the extent to which a feed limits intake. The cows' ability to process the intake-limiting satiety value-units is expressed as the feed intake capacity, which is predicted from parity, days in milk and days of pregnancy which are indicators of the size and physiological state of the cow. This study shows that feed intake can be predicted using a limited number of easy-to-measure inputs that are available on commercial farms, yet reasonably biologically sound. Because the model inputs are not related to animal output (milk yield or body weight), future extension of the intake model with models for the prediction of animal performance is possible. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Zom R.L.G.,Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research | Andre G.,Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research | van Vuuren A.M.,Wageningen UR Wageningen Livestock Research
Livestock Science | Year: 2012

In a previous paper we have proposed a new concept of a model for the prediction of feed intake by Holstein Friesian dairy cows (Zom et al., 2011). This model predicts feed intake from feed composition and digestibility and the cow's lactation number, stage of lactation and pregnancy. Contrary to many other often used models, this does not include animal performance (milk yield, bodyweight) to predict feed intake. However, BW and MY are highly correlated with DMI. Therefore, the objective of present study was to evaluate the accuracy and robustness of the novel feed intake model and to compare its accuracy and robustness with four other commonly used models for the prediction of feed intake.An evaluation was performed using an independent dataset containing 8974 weekly means of DMI from 348 individual cows observed in 6 feeding experiments including a wide range of diets and management practices was used in this study. Sub-datasets were formed by combining the DMI data by experiment, lactation number, lactation week, and maize silage to grass silage ratios in order to compare the accuracy of the intake models for different feeding practices and groups of cows using mean square prediction error (MSPE) and relative prediction error (RPE) as criteria.The novel model was most accurate as indicated by the MSPEs and RPEs for the whole dataset and the most of the sub-datasets. The results prove that the model of Zom et al. (2011) is able to predict DMI without the use of milk yield or body weight as inputs. It was concluded that novel model was robust and can be applied to various diets and feeding management situations in lactating HF cows. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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