Estimating daily energy flows in freestall-housed dairy cattle with automated data collection




Kedzierski, Patricia

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University of Guelph


The use of automated technology at the Dairy Research and Innovation Centre (Elora, ON) to calculate energy flows was studied in 29 multiparous cows over a period of 29 days in a freestall-housed environment. Cows were subjected to automatic feed intake, body weight measurements, body condition score measurements, milk yield and components, and respiratory gas measurements. The equipment was reliable, repeatable and easy to integrate. Energy flows were able to be calculated using the data provided. Heat production calculations can be a valuable tool in determining energy status. It is possible NRC is underestimating maintenance energy requirements and heat production in cows, possibly not accounting for individual variation. Furthermore, integration of the data highlighted that variation was higher between cows than within. This variation result was expected, and further integrated use of these technologies can help to create individualized management for dairy cows.



automated, energy, heat production, dairy cows