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Effect of maturity, silage and hay of various feeds on lactating cows feed intake and productivity;A meta-analysis

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Objective: This meta-analysis was done with the aim of cultivating farmers decision
in feeding their dairy cows for substituting several silage types, hay and maturity-based
comparison feeds to improve dairy cows’ performance.
Methods: The data that have booked in data sheet from previous published researches was
based on the measurement of inclusion criteria with its relevancy for the research objective.
A database includes 71 papers that were published among the interval of 1984-2020 years.
In the current meta-analysis, the comparison treatments were differing in feed types but
similar for all other parameters.
Result: On the current meta-analysis there were six sub-grouped various silage and hay
comparison feed types. The comparison of alfalfa hay maturity shows no significantly
difference in all cows measuring parameters of DMI, milk yield and milk composition.
The reason probably due to small data set used for analysis. Similarly, for the comparisons’
alfalfa silage with corn silage and silage with hay didn’t show any significance difference.
On the other hand, the comparisons of early cut silage with late cut silage, sorghum with
corn silage, and grass silage with legume silage; early cut silage, corn silage and legume
silage were significantly higher from their comparison diet at least in milk yield. However,
for feed efficiency from all over the comparisons, the effect of silage maturity was only
significantly differed over late cut silage.
Conclusion: based on the results shown on the collective meta experimental data,
in the comparison of early cut silage with late cut silage; early cut silage gives higher
MY and converts feed more efficiently to production than late cut silage but for others
paired comparisons feed efficiency was not significantly differed. Therefore, except silage
maturity, most comparison feed types were recommended to be replaceable with further
studying forages cost-effectiveness and their accessibility.


lactating cows, forage, performance, feed efficiency