Response of lactating dairy cows to high protein distillers grains or 3 other protein supplements



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Journal of Dairy Science








This study compared high protein dried distillers grains (HPDDG) with soybean meal (SBM), canola meal (CM), and dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) as protein supplements in dairy diets. A lactation trial used 12 multiparous cows averaging 78 d in milk at the start of the experiment in a 4 × 4 Latin square design with 28-d periods. Weeks 1 and 2 of each period were used for adjustment and wk 3 and 4 for data collection. Each treatment diet consisted of 55% forage and one of the 4 protein supplements in a concentrate mix. Total mixed diets averaged 15.3% crude protein, with 38% of the protein from one of the 4 protein supplements. Dry matter intake (24.4 kg/d) and crude protein intake (3.57 kg/d) were similar for all 4 diets. Milk production (31.8 kg/d), protein yield (1.05 kg/d), fat yield (1.29 kg/d), and protein percentage (3.31) were similar for all 4 treatment diets. Milk fat percentage was lower when fed DDGS (3.78) than when fed SBM or HPDDG (4.21), but similar with CM (4.07). Feed efficiency (1.44 kg of energy-corrected milk/kg of dry matter intake) and nitrogen efficiency (0.29) were not affected by diet. Total milk nitrogen and true milk protein were highest when fed the HPDDG diet. Molar proportions of acetate, propionate, and the acetate to propionate ratio in ruminal contents and ruminal ammonia concentrations were similar for all diets. Arterial and venous concentrations of total essential AA tended to be lower when fed CM, reflecting lower concentrations of His, Ile, Leu, and Val when fed the CM diet. Extraction efficiency of AA from blood by the mammary gland indicated that Met was the first limiting AA when fed the SBM diet, whereas Lys was first limiting for the other diets. Phenylalanine was third limiting with all diets. Feeding HPDDG was equally as effective as feeding SBM, CM, and regular distillers grains as a protein supplement for lactating cows.