A comparison of the influence of barn-cured and field-cured alfalfa hay on milk production

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1948
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Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Abstract

A controlled feeding experiment was conducted to compare the influence of barn-cured and field-cured alfalfa hay out from the same field on milk production and liveweight of dairy cows. Twelve Holstein cows were used in this trial. The double-reversal feeding method was followed. Grain was fed at the same rate to each group of cows. Hay was fed as the only source of roughage, and equal amounts of the two kinds of hay were fed to the two groups of cows. There was practically no difference in the total consumption of the two kinds of hay. Analysis of variance on the amounts of four per cent fat-corrected milk produced revealed highly significant differences at the one per cent level in favor of the barn-cured hay. The hays were sampled at regular intervals for proximate analysis. At the time of feeding the barn-cured hay contained .36 per cent more moisture, 2.63 per cent more protein, .26 per cent more fat, 1.20 per cent less fiber, 2.26 per cent less nitrogen-free extract, and .66 per cent more ash. The cows gained slightly in liveweight when they received the field-cured hay and lost slightly in liveweight when they received the barn-cured hay. Liveweight changes were not significant when analyzed statistically.

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