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Effect of water‐soluble carbohydrate content in orchardgrass pasture on grazing time and rumen fermentation in dairy cows

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Two experiments were conducted to clarify the effect of water‐soluble carbohydrate (WSC) content in orchardgrass pasture on the diurnal distribution of grazing time. Six ruminally cannulated, non‐lactating dairy cows were grazed on either of two pastures with different orchardgrass cultivars containing low WSC (LWSC; cultivar: ‘Hokkai 28’) or high WSC (HWSC; cultivar: ‘Harunemidori’). The cows were grazed in morning and evening sessions in experiment 1, whereas the cows were grazed throughout the day in experiment 2. In experiment 1, grazing time of the cows on HWSC was longer than that of the cows on LWSC (P < 0.01). This difference was larger in the morning session than in the evening session (pasture × grazing session: P < 0.05). Effects on herbage intake were similar to those on grazing time. In experiment 2, daily total grazing time was longer for the cows on HWSC than for those on LWSC (P < 0.05). The cows on HWSC spent a longer time grazing than those on LWSC in the morning between 03.00 and 09.00 hours (P < 0.01). The results indicated that prolonged grazing time in the period between dawn and early morning could increase daily herbage intake in cows grazed on pastures of orchardgrass cultivars with high‐WSC content.
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Keywords: dairy cow; grazing time; orchardgrass; rumen fermentation; water‐soluble carbohydrate

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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