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Silage and dairy cow production 2. milk yield and composition of cows fed pasture silage supplemented with pasture maize silage and protein concentrates



Silage and dairy cow production 2. milk yield and composition of cows fed pasture silage supplemented with pasture maize silage and protein concentrates



New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 22(4): 523-532



Jersey cross-bred cows were fed unwilted pasture silage supplemented with either pasture or maize silage contributing 50% of the DM [dry matter] offered or with a mixed protein concentrate constituting 8.5 or 17% of the ration DM. Pasture or protein concentrates increased the concentration and digestibility of N in the ration and increased digestible N intake by 25-40%. Maize silage reduced ration N concentration and digestibility and lowered digestible N intake by 40%. Regression analysis indicated that diet type had a significant effect on milk yield and composition. Cows offered silage rations supplemented with pasture or protein concentrates produced more milk with higher concentrations of fat and protein than cows fed exclusively on silage at similar intakes of DE. When maize silage was the supplement there was no effect on milk yield or composition. Differences in molar proportions of rumen VFA between diets were small; type of rumen fermentation was not important in limiting milk yield and composition of cows fed silage. Lack of a response in milk yield and composition to the maize silage supplement indicated that if microbial protein synthesis was limiting, it was not due to a lack of fermentable carbohydrate. Milk protein synthesis may be limited by the amount of protein entering the duodenum, a consequence of the low true protein content of high moisture silage.

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