592. Studies of the secretion of milk of low fat content by cows on diets low in hay and high in concentrates: VI. the effect on the physical and biochemical processes of the reticulo-rumen
Balch, C.C.; Balch, D.A.; Bartlett, S.; Bartrum, M.P.; Johnson, V.W.; Rowland, S.J.; Turner, J.
Journal of Dairy Research 22(3): 270-289
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0299 Accession: 080916855
1. Two Shorthorn cows with rumen fistulas were used to investigate the effect of diets high in concentrates and low in hay on the physical and biochemical processes of the reticulo-rumen. 2. During the initial control period of the investigation the cows received daily 16 lb. hay and 20 lb. concentrates (flaked maize 50%, weatings 35%, decorticated ground-nut cake 15%) and during the final control period 18 lb. hay and 10 lb. concentrates. There were three intervening experimental periods, in each of which the cows received 2 lb. hay daily. In the first experimental period they received, in addition to the hay, 24 lb. concentrates; in the second, 20 lb. concentrates and 5 lb. of dried delignified straw pulp in a finely macerated form; and in the third, 20 lb. concentrates. The experiment lasted 27 weeks. 3. In the experimental periods the mean milk-fat percentage remained below 2·0 for 10 weeks, whereas the mean value for the control periods was about 3·5. Addition of the straw pulp to the diet low in hay brought about no recovery in milk-fat percentage. It is calculated that in the two cows the losses in the yield of fat were 62·2 and 51·2% in the first experimental period and 62·5 and 58·7% in the second. In the experimental periods there were increases in the milk solids-not-fat percentage amounting in the two cows to upwards of 0·75 and 0·40 respectively. The composition of the butterfat was influenced by the diets low in hay, the main changes being a marked fall in the Reichert value, and a rise in the iodine value. 4. Digestibility trials showed that in the initial control period and the first and second experimental periods the mean daily intake of digestible crudefibrewas 2·6,0·6 and 3·0 lb. respectively. A tentative estimate of the extent of digestion in the reticulo-rumen, based on the lignin-ratio method, showed that a marked depression in values for the digestibility of the cellulosic constituents of the diet given during the first experimental period took place in the reticulo-rumen. In all experimental periods, even the first, the digestion of starch in the reticulo-rumen was virtually complete, only traces passing undigested to the remainder of the gut. In these three periods the mean daily intake of ether extract remained at 0·4·0·5 lb.