Effects of genotype, feed type and lactational stage on the time budget of dairy cows

BL Nielsen*, RF Veerkamp, AB Lawrence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of genetic merit, feeding system and stage of lactation on the time budget of dairy cows were studied. Sixteen loose-housed Holstein Friesian cows (parity = 1) of either high or UK average genetic merit were fed one of two complete mixed silage-based diets (high and low concentrate inclusion). Five-minute time samples were carried out on 11 days across lactation between morning feeding and afternoon milking. Cows fed the low concentrate diet spent more time eating, more time ruminating whilst standing, and less time lying, especially inactive. Genetic line did not affect the time budget of the cows. Standing and rumination decreased with time from calving, whereas the duration of lying bouts increased during the first 3 months of lactation. In this study the time budget of dairy cows was influenced by food roughage inclusion, and not by the production level of the animal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
JournalActa Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000


  • behaviour
  • dairy cattle
  • diet
  • genotype
  • time budgets

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