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Effect of synchronizing starch sources and protein (NPN) in the rumen on feed intake, rumen microbial fermentation, nutrient utilization and performance of lactating dairy cows

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter Rowlinson


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Eight crossbred (75% Holstein Friesian) cows in mid-lactation were randomly assigned to a switchback design with a 2x2 factorial arrangement to evaluate two nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) sources (corn meal and cassava chips) with different rumen degradability and used at two levels of NSC (55 vs. 75%) with protein source (supplied by urea in the concentrate mix). The treatments were 1) Low degradable low level of corn (55%) 2) Low degradable high level of corn (75%) 3) High degradable low level of cassava (55%) and 4) High degradable high level of cassava (75%). The cows were offered the treatment concentrate at a ratio to milk yield at 1:2. Urea-treated rice straw was offered ad libitum as the roughage and supplement with 1 kg/hd/d cassava hay. The results revealed that total DM intake, BW and digestion coefficients of DM were not affected by either level or source of energy. Rumen fermentation parameters; NH 3-N, blood urea nitrogen and milk urea nitrogen were unaffected by source of energy, but were dramatically increased by level of NSC. Rumen microorganism populations were not affected (p>0.05) by source of energy, but fungal zoospores were greater for cassava-based concentrate than corn-based concentrate. Milk production and milk composition were not affected significantly by diets containing either source or level of NSC, however milk fat percentage showed a trend towards higher levels for cassava-based concentrate than corn-based concentrate averaging (4.4 and 4.2, respectively). Likewise, income over feed, as estimated from 3.5% FCM, was higher on cassava-based concentrate than corn-based concentrate averaging (54.0 and 51.4 US$/mo, respectively). These results indicate that feeding diets containing either cassava-based diets and/or a higher of concentrates up to 75% of DM with NPN (supplied by urea up to 4.5% of DM) can be used in dairy rations without altering rumen ecology or animal performance compared with corn-based concentrate.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chanjula P, Wanapat M, Wachirapakorn C, Rowlinson P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences

Year: 2004

Volume: 17

Issue: 10

Pages: 1400-1410

ISSN (print): 1011-2367

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Societies