Performance and feeding behavior of Holstein and Holstein × Gyr crossbred heifers grazing temperate forages

Marcelo B. Abreu, Camila S. Cunha, João H.C. Costa, Emily K. Miller-Cushon, Polyana P. Rotta, Andreia F. Machado, Valber C.L. Morais, Fernanda H.M. Chizzotti, Marcos I. Marcondes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to investigate the difference between Holstein and Holstein × Gyr breeds on feeding behavior and performance of heifers grazing temperate pasture. The experiment was carried out in 89 days, split into 14 days of adaptation, and 3 periods of 25 days. Two treatments were used: Holstein (HOL; n = 7) and Holstein × Gyr (HG; n = 7). Heifers grazed a consortium of ryegrass and bristle oats and were supplemented individually daily with cornmeal at 0.33% of body weight plus 5 kg/day of corn silage. For 3 consecutive days, feeding behavior was observed for individual animals from direct visual observation recording at 10-min intervals. The digestibility trial was performed on day (d) 16 to d24 of each period. Body measurements and weight were taken at d0 and at d23, 24, and 25 of each period. Grazing duration, grazing frequency, and bite rate were greater for HOL than those for HG. Rumination characteristics, intake, digestibility, and body measurements were not affected by breed. Breeds had differences in grazing characteristics, but they did not influence performance or intake parameters. Therefore, HOL and HG heifers managed under temperate pasture in tropical countries have similar performances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank all members of the UFV Dairy Cattle lab for their assistance with sample collection and laboratory analyses. Appreciation to Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, Brazil, for funding this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Girolando
  • Replacement heifers
  • Rotational grazing
  • Ryegrass
  • Tropical dairy production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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