Feeding behavior and performance of dairy cows fed pelleted nonroughage fiber byproducts

J. Miron, E. Yosef, M. Nikbachat, A. Zenou, E. Maltz, I. Halachmi, D. Ben-Ghedalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The potential of pellets made of soy hulls (SH) and corn gluten feed (CGF) to replace starchy pelleted supplement in diets of lactating cows was measured in a feeding regime comparable to automatic milking systems. Twenty-four cows were divided into 2 equal groups and fed for 7 wk in individual feeders monitored by computer on one of the 2 experimental diets. Both diets contained 75% basic total mixed ration plus an additional 25% of pelleted supplement (17% CP), being either high starch pellets (HST) in treatment, or pellets made of SH + CGF (2:1) (SHCG) in treatment. In vitro dry matter digestibility was higher in the HST pellets, whereas neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility was higher in the SHCG pellets. The NDF content was higher in the SHCG diet. Individual cow behavior at the feeding lane was analyzed during the experimental period. Average number of meals and daily eating duration of the SHCG cows were significantly greater, as compared with the HST group. However, intake per meal and rate of eating were greater in the HST cows, whereas meal duration was similar in both groups. Feeding behavior resulted in significantly higher daily dry matter and NDF intake by the SHCG cows (27.1 and 11.1 kg, respectively) as compared with the HST group (24.8 and 7.61 kg, respectively). Consequently, significantly higher milk fat content, milk fat yield, and 4% FCM yield were obtained in the SHCG cows. Milk and milk protein yields were similar in both treatments. Data suggest potential advantages of the SHCG pellets for herds using automatic milking systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1372-1379
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Feeding behavior
  • Pelleted soy hulls and gluten feed
  • Performance of dairy cow
  • Starchy grain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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