Dietary interaction of cane molasses with source of roughage: intake and lactation effects
Morales, J.L.; Van Horn, H.H.; Moore, J.E.
Journal of Dairy Science 72(9): 2331-2338
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0302 PMID: 2556462 DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(89)79365-6
Effects of cane molasses at 0, 4, and 8% of DM in complete mixed diets were evaluated when molasses was fed to lactating dairy cows with cottonseed hulls, alfalfa haylage, or both combined. Thirty-six mature Holstein cows from mid to late lactation were used in a partially balanced incomplete block design with three 28-d periods. Variables measured were DM intake, milk yield, and composition. With cottonseed hull diets (30% of DM), molasses improved milk yield, milk fat percentage, solids-corrected milk, and feed efficiency. Dry matter intake was not affected by molasses. With alfalfa haylage diets (35% of DM), 8% molasses depressed actual milk yield and solids-corrected milk, DM intake, milk fat percentage, milk protein percentage, and feed efficiency. Milk fat percentage was increased with 4% molasses. With 65% alfalfa haylage diets, most variables measured were unaffected by molasses; however, with 8% molasses, DM intake increased and milk protein percentage decreased. In diets with both roughages combined, molasses did not affect any variable measured; however, these diets gave highest solids-corrected milk yields. Results show clearly that molasses effects depend on percentage molasses and type and amount of roughage in the diet.