Feed and nitrogen efficiency are affected differently but milk lactose production is stimulated equally when isoenergetic protein and fat is supplemented in lactating dairy cow diets

K. Nichols,*†1 A. Bannink,† S. Pacheco,‡ H. J. van Valenberg,‡ J. Dijkstra,* and H. van Laar§

* Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen University and Research, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands
Wageningen Livestock Research, Wageningen University and Research, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands
Dairy Science and Technology Group of Food Quality and Design, Wageningen University and Research, PO Box 17, 6700 AH Wageningen,
the Netherlands
§ Trouw Nutrition R&D, PO Box 220, 5830 AE Boxmeer, the Netherlands
1 Corresponding author K. Nichols

J Dairy Sci. 2018 Sep;101(9):7857-7870. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-14276. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

Open Access
A. Bannink, S. Pacheco, H. J. van Valenberg, J. Dijkstra, H. van Laar

by K. Nichols on 13/07/2018
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Fifty-six Holstein-Friesian cows were used in a randomized complete block design to test the effects of supplemental energy from protein (PT) and fat (FT) on lactation performance and nutrient digestibility in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. During the control period, cows were adapted for 28 d to a basal total mixed ration consisting of 34% grass silage, 33% corn silage, 5% grass hay, and 28% concentrate on a dry matter (DM) basis. Experimental rations were fed for 28 d immediately following the control period and consisted of (1) low protein, low fat (LP/LF), (2) high protein, low fat (HP/LF), (3) low protein, high fat (LP/HF), or (4) high protein and high fat (HP/HF). To obtain the HP and HF diets, intake of the basal ration was restricted and supplemented isoenergetically (net energy basis) with 2.0 kg/d of rumen-protected protein (soybean + rapeseed, 50:50 mixture on DM basis) and 0.68 kg/d of hydrogenated palm fatty acids (FA) on a DM basis. Milk production and composition, nutrient intake, and apparent digestibility were measured during the final 7 d of the control and experimental periods. No interaction was found between PT and FT on milk production and composition. Yields of milk, fat- and protein-corrected milk, and lactose increased in response to PT and FT and lactose concentration was unaffected by treatment. Milk protein concentration and yield increased in response to PT, and protein yield tended to increase in response to FT. Milk fat concentration and yield increased in response to FT and were unaffected by PT. Milk urea concentration increased and nitrogen efficiency decreased in response to PT. Feed and nitrogen efficiency were highest on the LP/HF diet and both parameters increased in response to FT, whereas milk urea concentration was not affected by FT. Energy from fat increased the concentration and yield of ≥16-carbon FA in milk and decreased the concentration of FA synthesized de novo, but had no effect on their yield. Concentration and yield of de novo-synthesized FA increased in response to PT. Concentration and yield of polyunsaturated FA increased and decreased in response to PT and FT, respectively. Apparent total-tract digestibility of crude fat decreased in response to PT, and FT increased crude protein digestibility. Energy supplementation through rumen-inert hydrogenated palm FA appears to be an efficient feeding strategy to stimulate milk production with regard to feed and nitrogen efficiency compared with supplementing an isoenergetic level of rumen-protected protein.

Keywords: digestibility; hydrogenated palm fatty acid; milk lactose; rumen-protected protein.