Track 1-08

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Grazed grass is the cheapest feed source available for ruminant production systems in temperate climates (Finnernan et al. 2010) accounting for 70% and 90% of the diet of dairy cows in Ireland and New Zealand, respectively. Successful operation of grass-based dairy systems is based on achieving large intakes of high quality grass and efficiently converting it into high value milk solids (Prendiville et al. 2010). Prendiville et al. (2009) identified production efficiency differences between Holstein Friesian (HF) and Jersey (J) cows. They found that J had higher milk solids output per 100 kg bodyweight than HF. The aim of this study was to identify if HF, J and crossbred (J×HF) cows differ in their ability to digest perennial ryegrass.

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Do Different Breeds of Dairy Cow Differ in Their Ability to Digest Perennial Ryegrass?

Grazed grass is the cheapest feed source available for ruminant production systems in temperate climates (Finnernan et al. 2010) accounting for 70% and 90% of the diet of dairy cows in Ireland and New Zealand, respectively. Successful operation of grass-based dairy systems is based on achieving large intakes of high quality grass and efficiently converting it into high value milk solids (Prendiville et al. 2010). Prendiville et al. (2009) identified production efficiency differences between Holstein Friesian (HF) and Jersey (J) cows. They found that J had higher milk solids output per 100 kg bodyweight than HF. The aim of this study was to identify if HF, J and crossbred (J×HF) cows differ in their ability to digest perennial ryegrass.