Article| Volume 79, ISSUE 5, P822-830, May 1996

Effects of Tallow and Escape Protein on Lactational and Reproductive Performance of Dairy Cows1

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      Experiments were performed to determine the effect of energy source and proportion of escape protein on lactational performance, body measurements, and reproductive activity. Sixty-eight lactating Holstein cows were assigned to one of four dietary treatments during wk 2 to 12 postpartum: 1) high fat (3% tallow), high escape protein (5% feather meal:blood meal, 85:15, DM basis); 2) high fat, low escape protein (0% feather mea1:blood meal); 3) low fat (0% tallow), high escape protein; and 4) low fat, low escape protein. Diets were similar in energy and CP contents. Overall mean milk yield (32.9 kg/d) was not affected by diet, but efficiency of FCM yield was highest with high fat and high escape protein. Daily DMI and net energy balance were greater for cows fed the diet low in fat and low in escape protein, but days to first ovulation were not different among groups. Total cholesterol in plasma increased as DIM increased, and concentrations were greater for cows fed the high fat diets than for cows fed the low fat diets after 35 DIM. Concentrations of luteal phase progesterone and follicular phase estradiol tended to be greater for cows fed the high fat and low escape protein, but conception rate from first AI was greatest for cows fed the high fat and high escape protein. Supplemental tallow and escape protein did not consistently affect lactational performance but did improve efficiency of FCM yield and conception rate from first AI.

      Key words

      Abbreviation key:

      BCS (body condition score), E2 (17β-estradiol), EB (energy balance), HE (high escape protein), HF (high fat), LE (low escape protein), LF (low fat), P4 (progesterone)


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