3 years ago

Predicting nutrient digestibility in high-producing dairy cows

Our objective was to determine the effects of dry matter intake (DMI), body weight (BW), and diet characteristics on total tract digestibilities of dry matter, neutral detergent fiber, and starch (DMD, NDFD, and StarchD, respectively) in high-producing dairy cows. Our database was composed of 1,942 observations from 662 cows in 54 studies from Michigan, Ohio, and Georgia. On average, cows ate 23 ± 4.5 kg of dry matter/d, weighed 669 ± 79 kg, and produced 38 ± 10 kg of milk/d. Diets were 31 ± 5% neutral detergent fiber, 27 ± 6% starch, 2.6 ± 1.2% fatty acids, and 17 ± 1.4% crude protein. Digestibility means were 66 ± 6, 42 ± 11, and 93 ± 5% for DMD, NDFD, and StarchD, respectively. Forage sources included corn silage, alfalfa, and grasses. Corn source was classified by its ruminal fermentability. Data were analyzed using a mixed effects model, including diet chemical composition, forage source, and corn source, all expressed as percentage of dry matter, except for DMI, which was expressed as percentage of BW (DMI%BW); location and 2-way interactions were fixed effects. Cow, block, period, treatment, and study were included as random effects. Best fitting candidate models were generated using backward and stepwise regression methods. Additionally, the simplest model was generated using only DMI and location as fixed effects and all random effects. Candidate models were cross-validated across studies, and the resulting predictive correlation coefficients across studies (PC) and root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) were compared by t-test. For each nutrient, the digestibility model that resulted in the highest PC and lowest RMSEP was determined to be the best fitting model. We observed heterogeneous coefficients among the different locations, suggesting that specific location factors influenced digestibilities. The overall location-averaged best fitting prediction equations were: DMD = 69 − 0.83 × DMI%BW (PC = 0.22, RMSEP = 5.39); NDFD = 53 + 0.26 × grass %DM − 0.59 × starch %DM + 3.06 × DMI%BW − 0.46 × DMI%BW2 (PC = 0.53, RMSEP = 9.70); and StarchD = 96 + 0.19 × HFERM%DM − 0.12 × starch %DM − 1.13 × DMI%BW (PC = 0.34, RMSEP = 4.77); where HFERM%DM is highly-fermentable corn source as percentage of DM. Our results confirm that digestibility is reduced as DMI increases, albeit at a lower rate than that reported in National Research Council. Furthermore, dietary starch depresses NDFD. Whereas DMD can be predicted based on DMI only, the best predictions for NDFD and StarchD require diet characteristics in addition to DMI.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022030217310950

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.