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Replacing wheat with canola meal and maize grain in the diet of lactating dairy cows: Feed intake, milk production and cow condition responses

  • Ruairi P McDonnell (a1) and Martin vH Staines (a1)
Abstract

This research paper describes the effect of partially replacing wheat with maize grain and canola meal on milk production and body condition changes in early lactation Holstein-Friesian dairy cows consuming a grass silage-based diet over an 83-d period. Two groups of 39 cows were stratified for age, parity, historical milk yield and days in milk (DIM), and offered one of two treatment diets. The first treatment (CON) reflected a typical diet used by Western Australian dairy producers in summer and comprised (kg DM/cow per d); 8 kg of annual ryegrass silage, 6 kg of crushed wheat (provided once daily in a mixed ration), 3·6 kg of crushed lupins (provided in the milking parlour in two daily portions) and ad libitum lucerne haylage. The second treatment diet (COMP) was identical except the 6 kg of crushed wheat was replaced by 6 kg of a more complex concentrate mix (27% crushed wheat, 34% maize grain and 37% canola meal). Lucerne haylage was provided independently in the paddock to all cows, and no pasture was available throughout the experiment. The COMP group had a greater mean overall daily intake (22·5 vs 20·4 kg DM/cow) and a higher energy corrected milk (ECM) yield (29·2 vs 27·1 kg/cow; P = 0·047) than the CON cows. The difference in overall intake was caused by a higher daily intake of lucerne haylage in COMP cows (4·5 vs 2·3 kg DM/cow). The CON group had a higher concentration of milk fat (42·1 vs 39·3 g/kg; P = 0·029) than COMP cows. Milk protein yield was greater in COMP cows (P < 0·021); however, milk fat yield was unaffected by treatment. It is concluded that partially replacing wheat with canola meal and maize grain in a grass silage-based diet increases voluntary DMI of conserved forage and consequently yields of ECM and milk protein.

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*For correspondence; e-mail: Ruairimcdonnell@live.ie
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Present address: Western Dairy Research, Development & Extension Hub, Verschuer Place, Bunbury, WA 6230, Australia.

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References
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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-dairy-research
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