Fresh feed delivery doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with milking time, according to research from the University of British Columbia.

The research, reported in the February Journal of Dairy Science, shows that cows given fresh feed six hours after milking actually spent 12.5 percent more time eating per day than when they were offered fresh feed upon the return from milking. Despite this, the timing of feed delivery did not affect the amount of time cows spent lying down. Cows spent an average of 12.3 hours per day lying down regardless of when they were fed.

It’s important to note that when cows were fed six hours after milking, they still had feed available upon return from milking.