Apple pomace as a supplement to pasture for dairy cows in late lactation

Apple pomace as a supplement to pasture for dairy cows in late lactation
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Abstract

Apple pomace, a by-product of the apple juicing industry, was assessed as a supplementary feed for lactating dairy cows during autumn. Cows were offered a base diet of 6 kg DM/cow/day from grazed pasture and one of three supplement treatments; control (7 kg DM/cow/day grass silage); apple pomace (AP) (3 kg DM/cow/day grass silage plus 4 kg DM/cow/day fresh AP); and AP+"balancer" (3 kg DM/cow/day grass silage plus 3 kg DM/cow/day fresh AP plus 1 kg DM of by-pass protein meal supplement ("balancer"). Treatment groups each comprised 10 mixed age Friesian-Jersey crossbred cows which were fed the supplement(s) in their respective groups in two equal portions following morning and evening milkings. Groups were grazed independently on similar pastures between these times. Herd test milk yields over the 28 day supplementary feeding period were greater for the AP and AP+"balancer" groups (14.1 & 14.7 litres/cow/day, respectively) than for the control group (12.1 litres/cow/day; P<0.001). Milk protein yields were lower for the control than the two AP groups (0.43 vs 0.54 & 0.57 kg/cow/day for control, AP and AP+"balancer", respectively; P<0.01). Yields of milkfat (0.58 vs 0.70 vs 0.77 kg/cow/day) and milksolids (1.01 vs 1.24 vs 1.34 kg/cow/day) differed between all three treatment groups (P<0.05). Cow condition and bodyweights were similar between the three treatment groups at both the start and end of the trial. Apple pomace was therefore shown to be a useful supplement for dairy cows in late lactation.

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