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Eighteen Holstein heifers were placed into groups of 3 according to projected calving date, prepartum BW, and prepartum condition score. Following parturition, animals within each group were assigned randomly to one of three diets and remained on the experiment for 45 d. Diets consisted of forage: concentrate ratios of 72:28, 53:47, or 73:27 (isocaloric to the 53:47 ratio by addition of 8% soybean oil). Diets were fed twice daily as total mixed rations. Blood, rumen fluid, and adipose tissue were sampled at −7, 5, 20, and 45 d of lactation.
Performance means were, respectively: DM intake (kg/d) 13.9, 14.9, and 12.4; milk (kg/d) 24.5, 25.8, and 18.6; milk fat (%) 3.77, 3.59, and 3.62; milk protein (%) 3.03, 2.99, and 3.11; body condition score (0 = thin, 5 = fat) 1.53, 1.87, and 1.99; and BW (kg) 514, 523, and 505. Cows fed soybean oil had higher ruminal isoacids than those fed the other diets and higher acetate than cows on the 53:47 diet. Diets had no effect on blood metabolites or activity of adipose glycerol-P dehydrogenase (EC 184.108.40.206). The soybean oil diet reduced short-chain fatty acids and increased long-chain fatty acids in milk. Feed intake and milk production were highest for cows receiving the 53:47 diet. As expected, animals on the 72:28 diet did not consume adequate energy to maintain high production which concurrently resulted in lower body condition scores.
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Accepted: June 16, 1988
Received: March 17, 1988
© 1988 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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