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The influence of a formulated excess of rumen degradable protein or undegradable protein on milk production in dairy cows in early lactation

  • B. K. Sloan (a1), P. Rowlinson (a1) and D. G. Armstrong (a2)

Abstract

Following a 3-week covariance period, 30 group-housed dairy cows were individually given one of three diets from week 4 to week 13 of lactation to determine any possible advantage in milk yield and production of feeding levels of undegradable protein (+UDP) or rumen-degradable protein (+RDP) above the minimum levels (control) proposed by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC, 1984). The three concentrates given were formulated to be of equivalent metabolizable energy (ME, 13·5 MJ/kg dry matter (DM)) concentration and each consisted of rolled barley plus a protein supplement: control (crude protein (CP), 129 g/kg DM) 0·35 kg DM fish meal per day; +UDP (CP, 167 g7kg DM) 1·0 kg DM fish meal per day; and +RDP (CP, 167 g/kg DM) 1+5 kg DM soya per day. For each group the total ‘concentrate’ allowance per animal per day was 11·6 kg fresh weight and was given in three equal feeds. Grass silage (CP 122 g/kg DM, ME 106 MJ/kg DM) was given ad libitum. For the control, +UDP and +RDP treatments, respectively, mean grass silage intakes were 8·29, 8·62 and 8·65 kg/day and mean milk yields were 26·6, 26·3 and 26·1 kg/day. These were not significantly different (P > 0·05). Milk fat concentration was lower (P < 0·05) for the +UDP treatment (36·4 g/kg) in comparison with the control (38·6 g/kg) or the +RDP treatment (39·7 g/kg) but no other milk constituent was significantly influenced by treatment. There was a trend for a greater live-weight gain with treatment +UDP (0·81 kg/day) compared with the other two treatments (control 0·50, +RDP 0·51 kg/day) but there were no differences in condition-score change between treatments. In this trial there was no advantage to feeding formulated levels of UDP or RDP above those proposed by ARC (1984).

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The influence of a formulated excess of rumen degradable protein or undegradable protein on milk production in dairy cows in early lactation

  • B. K. Sloan (a1), P. Rowlinson (a1) and D. G. Armstrong (a2)

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