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Wheat straw or alfalfa hay in diets with 30% neutral detergent fiber for lactating Holstein cows

, : Wheat straw or alfalfa hay in diets with 30% neutral detergent fiber for lactating Holstein cows. Journal of Dairy Science 74(9): 3152-3159

Twenty-four Holstein cows near peak lactation were fed diets formulated to contain 30% NDF with forage NDF from chopped wheat straw or chopped alfalfa hay in proportions of 0:3, 1:2, 2:1, and 3:0 in an 8-wk trial to evaluate effects of fiber source on lactational performance. Concentrate was based on highly degradable carbohydrate in steam-flaked sorghum grain. Forage to concentrate ratio decreased from 49:51 to 28:72 when straw was substituted for alfalfa hay. Milk yield (38.4 kg/d) and DNI (23.1 kg/d) were not influenced by forage source. Milk fat percentage decreased and milk protein percentage increased linearly with increasing straw. Yields of 3.5% FCM and fat showed linear and quadratic responses, because they appeared to be reduced only on the 0:3 diet, and protein yield showed a quadratic response and was highest for the 1:2 diet. Digestibility of NDF averaged 43.5, 45.4, 40.7, and 31.2%, and acetate to propionate ratio was 3.0, 2.4, 2.2, and 1.9 with increasing dietary straw. Passage rates were not influenced by diet and averaged 9.3, 7.6, 6.1, and 4.7%/h for fluid, grain, alfalfa hay, and wheat straw, respectively. It is suggested that the ratio of forage NDF to ruminally degradable starch be maintained greater than or equal to 1:1 when diets based on low quality forage are fed to cows in early lactation.


PMID: 1663959

DOI: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(91)78500-7

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