The present study evaluated the effects of feeding strategies with alternative feeds on the performance of mature suckler cows and their progeny during indoor feeding and subsequent grazing. In both experiments, a 2 × 2 factorially arranged design consisted of two feeding strategies (Step-up, S; Flat-rate, F) and two diets (Control, C; Alternative, A). The aim of Strategy F was to offer the cows the same amount of energy as offered on Strategy S, but at a constant daily level. In Experiment 1, cows on Diet C were offered grass silage and straw and on Diet A grass silage and a fl our-mill industry by-product. On Strategy S, feeding was stepped with barley (0, 1.5 and 3.5 kg d-1). On Strategy F, barley was offered 1.43 kg per head daily. In Experiment 2, cows were offered either grass silage (C) or whole-crop barley silage (A) as a sole feed.\ud \ud Strategy S was carried out by offering 68, 95 and 119 MJ metabolizable energy (ME) per cow daily. On Strategy F, roughage was given daily 97 MJ ME. In both experiments, there were no signifi cant differences between treatments in the cow live weight, body condition score, calf pre-weaning live weight gain and cow reproduction. Strategy F can be practised in the nutrition of mature suckler cows in marginal circumstances.\ud \ud Flour-mill industry by-product can partly replace grass silage and straw in the winter diet. Wholecrop barley silage can be offered as a sole feed to suckler cows with good body condition score in autumn
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