Protected methionine and heat-treated soybean meal for high-producing dairy cows.
Twenty-four high producing Holstein cows (14 primiparous and 10 multiparous) were fed concentrate mix containing heat-treated soybean meal without or with 15 g of added DL-methionine daily provided as 50 g of ruminally protected methionine product during wk 4 through 16 postpartum. The 15% crude protein mixed diets contained 30% (dry matter basis) corn silage, 15% alfalfa hay, and 55% concentrate mix. Covariant adjusted yields of milk (34.6 and 33.1 kg/d), 4% fat-corrected milk (28.4 and 27.6 kg/d), and solids-corrected milk (29.0 and 28.5 kg/d) were not increased by feeding supplemental methionine. Percentages of fat (2.81 and 2.92) and protein (2.88 and 2.92) were similar, whereas total solids (11.49 and 12.69) and solids-not-fat (8.68 and 8.77) were higher with supplemental methionine. Dry matter intakes (20.2 and 21.0 kg/d) were higher when cows were fed supplemental methionine. Ruminal pH, volatile fatty acids, and ammonia as well as blood serum urea and glucose were generally unaffected by methionine supplementation. Concentrations of methionine in arterial and venous plasma were elevated slightly when additional methionine was fed. The first-limiting amino acid for milk production, methionine, was calculated by several methods and was not changed by feeding supplemental ruminally protected methionine.