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Incremental effects of ground rapeseed on digestion in lactating dairy cows

  • C.K. Reynolds (a1), D. J. Humphries (a1), J. D. Sutton (a1), B. Lupoli (a1) and D.E. Beever (a1)...

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Crushed rapeseed and other oil seeds offer an economical source of fat and protein in diets for lactating dairy cows, but the potential inhibitory effects of their unsaturated fatty acids on fibre digestion in the rumen are a concern. Feeding crushed rapeseed in a grass silage-based ration increased milk yield without affecting intake (Reynolds et al., 1998), and had no measurable effects on rumen or total tract digestion (Reynolds et al., 2000). In a companion study, feeding increasing amounts of ground rapeseed in a maize silage-based ration decreased DM intake at higher levels of inclusion (Reynolds et al., 2002). This effect may reflect metabolic effects of rapeseed fatty acid absorption, or negative effects of rapeseed oil on rumen fermentation and fibre digestion. The present study was conducted simultaneously to the production study to determine the incremental effects of ground rapeseed on rumen, post-rumen and total tract digestion in lactating dairy cows fed maize silage-based rations.

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Reynolds, C.K., Phipps, R.H., Jones, A.K. and Beever, D.E. 1998. Milk production response of lactating dairy cows to dietary fat from three sources. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, p. 223
Reynolds, C. K., Humphries, D. J., Sutton, J. D., Lupoli, B., Phipps, R. H. and Beever, D. E. 2000. Rumen and post-rumen digestion in lactating dairy cows fed fat from three sources. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, p. 91.
Reynolds, C.K., Phipps, R. H., Jones, A. K., Lupoli, B. and Beever, D. E. 2002. Production response of lactating dairy cows fed increasing amounts of ground rapeseed. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, submitted.

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