Lactational Evaluation of Protein Supplements of Varying Ruminal Degradabilities1

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      Twelve lactating Holstein cows (9 multiparous and 3 primiparous) were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design with three periods of 4 wk each to evaluate diets containing three protein supplements that varied in ruminally undegradable protein and amino acid (AA) composition. Diets contained either 44% crude protein (CP) solvent-extracted soybean meal, expeller (mechanically extracted) soybean meal, or a blend of animal and vegetable proteins as the protein supplement. The animal and vegetable blend consisted of equal portions of protein from blood meal, corn gluten meal, meat and bone meal, and soybean meal. All diets contained 33.3% alfalfa haylage, 16.7% corn silage, and 50% of the respective concentrate mix (dry matter basis). Diets contained 17.4, 17.8, and 17.8% CP and 34, 45, and 45% of CP as ruminally undegradable protein, respectively. Dry matter intake, milk production and composition, and body weight were similar among treatments. Uptakes of AA by the mammary gland were similar among treatments. The apparent first-limiting AA for each diet was likely Met, but Lys and Phe were also potentially limiting. Varying degrees of protein degradability and AA composition within the range of this study did not affect lactational responses, indicating that all of these protein supplements were adequate to support milk production.

      Key words

      Abbreviation key:

      AVB (animal and vegetable blend), BM (blood meal), CGM (corn gluten meal), ESBM (expeller (mechanically extracted) soybean meal), MBM (meat and bone meal), SBM (solvent-extracted soybean meal)


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