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Altering undigested neutral detergent fiber through additives applied in corn, whole barley crop, and alfalfa silages, and its effect on performance of lactating Holstein dairy cows

Altering undigested neutral detergent fiber through additives applied in corn, whole barley crop, and alfalfa silages, and its effect on performance of lactating Holstein dairy cows

Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 32(3): 375-386

We hypothesized that silage additives may alter the undigested neutral detergent fiber (uNDF) content through ensiling. Therefore, urea and formic acid were applied to corn, whole barley crop (WBC) and alfalfa to change uNDF content of the ensiled forages. Six experimental diets at two groups of high uNDF (untreated corn and alfalfa silages [CSAS] and untreated whole barley and alfalfa silages [BSAS]) and low uNDF (urea-treated corn silage+untreated alfalfa silage [CSUAS], urea-treated whole barley silage+untreated alfalfa silage [BSUAS], untreated corn silage+formic acid-treated alfalfa silage [CSASF], and untreated whole barley silage+formic acid-treated alfalfa silage [BSASF]), were allocated to thirty-six multiparous lactating Holstein dairy cows. The untreated silages were higher in uNDF than additive treated silages, but the uNDF concentrations among silages were variable (corn silage0.05). Milk yield tended to increase in the cows fed high uNDF diets than those fed low uNDF (p = 0.10). The cows fed diet based on urea-treated corn silage had higher milk yield than those fed other silages (p = 0.05). The substitution of corn silage with the WBC silage tended to decrease milk production (p = 0.07). Changing the physical source of NDF supply and the uNDF content from the corn silage to the WBC silage caused a significant increase in ruminal NH3-N concentration, milk urea-N and fat yield (p< 0.05). The cows fed diets based on WBC silage experienced greater rumination time than the cows fed corn silage (p<0.05). Administering additives to silages to reduce uNDF may improve the performance of Holstein dairy cows.

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Accession: 046019666

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PMID: 30056665

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