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An examination of energy utilization in lactating dairy cows receiving a total mixed ration based on maize silage

  • S. B. Cammell (a1), D. E. Beever (a1), J. D. Sutton (a1), J. France (a1), the late G. Alderman (a1) and D. J. Humphries (a1)...

Abstract

Six multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows were offered a total mixed ration based on maize silage in a repeated measure design to evaluate the partition of gross energy (GE) during early to mid lactation. Four measurements were made at 6-week intervals with energy and nitrogen balances carried out in open-circuit respiration chambers over 6 days during lactation weeks 6, 12, 18 and 24. The intakes of total diet dry matter (DM) corrected for volatile losses (VCDM), organic matter (OM) and GE declined significantly (P < 0•01) as lactation progressed, although apparent digestibility of these fractions was not altered, resulting in a significant (P < 0•01) decline in digestible nutrient intake at each stage of lactation. Methane and urine energy losses were not significantly affected, resulting in significantly (P < 0·001) higher amounts of digestible energy (DE) partitioned to methane and urine as lactation progressed with associated significant reductions in metabolizable energy (ME) intake (MEI) (P < 0·01) and ME as a proportion of DE (P < 0·001) and GE (q) (P < 0·05). With advancing lactation there was a significant (P < 0·001) increase in the amount of ME partitioned to heat (HP/MEI), but no significant change in the amount partitioned to milk and tissue. Individual values for diet metabolizability (ME/GE) at actual (production) levels (qa) (mean 0·625 MJ/MJ) were corrected to an equivalent value at maintenance (qmc) (mean 0·666 MJ/MJ). The overall ME intakes (MJ/day) were: ad libitum, 246, corrected for level of feeding effect, 263, with a predicted ME requirement according to AFRC (1993) (MER93) of 242. Substitution of the calculated qmc into the predictive equations (AFRC, 1993) resulted in a mean maintenance requirement of 57·6 MJ/day (0·464 MJ/kg M0·75/day) whilst the mean value derived from the linear model describing the experimental data was 82·5 MJ/day (0·664 MJ/kg M0·75/day). The mean efficiencies of utilization of ME for milk production derived from AFRC (1993) and the linear regression model were 0·653 MJ/MJ and 0·625 MJ/MJ respectively.

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Keywords

An examination of energy utilization in lactating dairy cows receiving a total mixed ration based on maize silage

  • S. B. Cammell (a1), D. E. Beever (a1), J. D. Sutton (a1), J. France (a1), the late G. Alderman (a1) and D. J. Humphries (a1)...

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