Estimating DMI in dairy heifers

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A recent study conducted by a research team at the University of Wisconsin evaluated dry-matter intake (DMI) in more than 9,000 dairy heifers. The results provided new insights. Among them:

  • Heifer DMI as a percentage of body weight decreases as body weight increases, but the relationship is not perfectly linear.
  • The DMI of dairy heifers is influenced by dietary neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentrations.
  • Low NDF diets increase DMI and high NDF diets decrease DMI in heifers of all sizes.

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