Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Published in J. Dairy Sci. (2006) 89:2608–2617 © 2006 Journal of Dairy Science Used by Permission


An experiment was conducted with 36 primiparous and 40 multiparous Holstein cows to examine the effects of feeding wet corn gluten feed (WCGF) on 305- d milk production, dry matter (DM) intake, body condition score (BCS), and health. The experimental treatments included: 1) control—WCGF not fed (n = 27); 2) WCGF-L—cows received diets containing WCGF (38% DM basis) during lactation (n = 23); and 3) WCGFDL— cows received diets containing WCGF (38% DM basis) during the dry period and lactation (n = 26). During the dry period, cows consuming WCGF were observed to have a significant gain in BCS (0.07 ± 0.06) compared with a loss in BCS in cows fed the control diet (control = −0.11 ± 0.06 and WCGF-L = −0.04 ± 0.06). During lactation, there were no differences by treatment on BCS. Cows consuming WCGF during lactation consumed more feed compared with the control: 25.4, 23.8, and 21.2 ± 0.76 kg/d for WCGF-L, WCGFDL, and the control, respectively. Milk production was higher for cows consuming WCGF: 35.0, 34.7, and 31.1 ± 2.1 kg/d for WCGF-L, WCGF-DL, and the control, respectively. No differences were found in either DM intake or actual milk yield between the WCGF-L and WCGF-DL treatments, indicating that prepartum diets did not influence lactational performance. The WCGF diets resulted in significant reductions in the concentration of milk fat (3.94, 3.74, and 4.15 ± 0.08% for WCGF-L, WCGF-DL, and the control, respectively), but because total milk yield was increased, there were no differences in total milk fat yield. In addition, 3.5% of fat-corrected milk tended to be affected by diet: 38.9, 36.3, and 34.7 ± 1.93 kg/d for WCGF-L, WCGF-DL, and the control, respectively. The increasing effect of DM intake and milk yield in cows consuming WCGF resulted in a similar efficiency of 3.5% fat-corrected milk production for all treatments, averaging 1.5 ± 0.09. Total protein yields were significantly higher for cows consuming WCGF diets during lactation: 1.15, 1.10, 1.00 ± 0.06 kg/d for WCGFL, WCGF-DL, and the control, respectively. These results indicate that diets may be formulated to contain as much as 37.5% WCGF (DM basis).