Effect of body condition and ration protein source on performance of high producing cows during early lactation
Forty-two high producing Holstein cows were paired by body condition and mature equivalent milk production and fed either a high or low energy complete ration ad libitum during the last 16-20 weeks of lactation. Cows fed the high energy ration ate more feed, produced more milk and gained more body condition than cows fed the low energy ration. Cows were fed to maintain condition during the dry period. During weeks 3-15 of the next lactation, half the cows in each condition group (fat or thin) were fed a mixed ration with soybean meal (SBM) as the major protein source. The remaining cows were fed a ration with dried brewers grains (DBG) as the main protein source.