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Effects of feeding hull-less barley on production performance, milk fatty acid composition, and nutrient digestibility of lactating dairy cows



Effects of feeding hull-less barley on production performance, milk fatty acid composition, and nutrient digestibility of lactating dairy cows



Journal of Dairy Science 100(5): 3576-3583



The objectives of this study were to evaluate production performance, milk fatty acid composition, and nutrient digestibility in high-producing dairy cows consuming diets containing corn and hull-less barley (cultivar Amaze 10) in different proportions as the grain source. Eight primiparous and 16 multiparous Holstein cows were assigned to 1 of 4 diets in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with 21-d periods. Cows were fed once daily (1200 h) by means of a Calan gate system (American Calan Inc., Northwood, NH). All diets contained ∼20% grain (dry matter basis). Treatments consisted of 100% corn (0B), 67% corn and 33% hull-less barley (33B), 33% corn and 67% hull-less barley (67B), and 100% hull-less barley (100B) as the grain sources. Total-tract nutrient digestibility was estimated using lanthanum chloride (LaCl3) as an external marker. Dry matter intake differed quadratically among treatments, being lowest for 67B and highest for 0B and 100B. Feeding hull-less barley did not affect milk yield, and milk fat concentration differed cubically among treatments. The cubic response was attributed to the higher milk fat concentration observed for the diet containing 67B. Neither the concentrations in milk of protein and lactose nor the yields of protein and lactose differed among treatments. The proportion of de novo synthesized fatty acids in milk did not differ among treatments. The apparent total-tract digestibility of dry matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber did not differ among treatments. Although a quadratic effect was observed, starch digestibility was minimally affected by treatments. In conclusion, this study indicates that hull-less barley grain is as good as corn grain as an energy source when formulating diets for high-producing dairy cows.

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Accession: 059659719

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PMID: 28318583

DOI: 10.3168/jds.2016-12241


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