The dairy cow is particularly well adapted for consuming and utilizing large quantities of roughages, though she responds well to grain feeding. The relative quantities of roughage and grain that should be fed are usually determined by the physiologic effects and economic efficiencies of such rations when fed to dairy cattle.
One would hardly expect high.producing cows to maintain a high yield when consuming roughage alone, because such a ration is so bulky that it prevents the intake of sufficient nutrients for maximum production. And yet, very good results have been obtained in certain areas by such a system of feeding. Then, too, the nutrients of roughage crops are usually produced at considerably less cost than those of grain crops (17) (3). Furthermore, rough. ages are more plentiful on most farms than grain crops, especially in recent years when there has been a marked increase in the production of hay and pasture crops at some sacrifice of grain production. Under these conditions the advisability of supplementing roughage rations with grain becomes a question of interest to dairy farmers.
Autrey, K. M.; Cannon, C. Y.; and Espe, D. L.
"Efficiency of dairy rations containing various quantities of grain,"
Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station): Vol. 26
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/researchbulletin/vol26/iss305/1