Animal Science Department

 

Date of this Version

2005

Comments

Published in J. Dairy Sci. (2005) 88:244–254 © 2005 Journal of Dairy Science Used by Permission

Abstract

We hypothesized that substituting a corn hybrid with high cell-wall content and high neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility (HCW) for a hybrid with lower cellwall content and lower NDF digestibility (LCW) would improve feed intake and milk production in lactating Holstein cows. There was a 3.6 percentage unit difference in NDF content and a 4.1 percentage unit difference in 30-h in vitro NDF digestion between the 2 corn hybrids. In trial 1, 40 cows (12 primiparous) ranging in milk production from 24.1 to 44.0 kg/d, following a 2- wk preliminary period, were used in a crossover design with 2-wk periods. Diets consisted of 45% corn silage (HCW or LCW), 10% alfalfa hay, and 45% concentrates. The DMI (25.4 vs. 24.2 kg/d) and 4% FCM yield (34.3 vs. 31.7 kg/d) were higher for cows fed the HCW diet compared with the LCW diet. When HCW was substituted for LCW on a DM basis, there was no relationship between pretrial milk yield (preliminary period) and subsequent response to HCW silage. In trial 2, 40 cows (8 primiparous) ranging in milk production from 20.6 to 49.0 kg/d, following a 2-wk preliminary period, were used in a crossover design with 2-wk periods. Diets consisted of the same LCW diet as trial 1 and a diet containing HCW at a concentration (40% of DM) that resulted in equal NDF content (30.8%) between the 2 diets (HCWN). The DMI (26.8 kg/d) was unaffected by diet, although there was a trend for greater DMI (% of BW) for cows fed the HCWN diet compared with LCW silage (4.24 vs. 4.12). Milk fat (3.91 vs. 3.79%) and 4% FCM yield (34.9 vs. 33.4 kg/d) were greater for cows fed HCWN vs. LCW diet. When HCW was substituted for LCW silage on an NDF basis, cows with greater

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