Canola meal replacing distillers grains with solubles for lactating dairy cows



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Journal of Dairy Science








A study was conducted to determine the response to feeding diets containing canola meal (CM) as a protein supplement in place of all or portions of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). Twelve lactating Holstein cows (4 primiparous and 8 multiparous) were fed in a 4 × 4 Latin square design over 4-wk periods. Data were collected wk 3 and 4 of each period. Diets were formulated in which CM was 100, 66, 33, and 0% of the supplemental protein replacing the protein from DDGS. All diets (averaged 15.1% crude protein and 4.5% ether extract) contained 55% forage and 45% concentrate, with the forage being 50% corn silage and 50% alfalfa hay. Dry matter intake (25.4 kg/d) was similar for all diets. Milk production (35.2, 35.8, 34.5, and 34.3 kg/d, respectively, for 100, 66, 33, and 0% CM) was similar for all diets, but tended to be greater with higher proportions of CM. Milk protein concentration (3.04%), fat concentration (3.92%), and fat yield (1.37 kg/d) were similar for all diets, whereas protein yield (1.08, 1.10, 1.05, and 1.03 kg/d, respectively, for 100, 66, 33, and 0% CM) tended to be greater with increasing amounts of CM in the diet. Feed efficiency (1.46 kg of energy-corrected milk/kg of dry matter intake) was similar for all diets. Lysine was the first limiting amino acid for milk protein synthesis when CM or DDGS were fed, whereas methionine was first limiting when the combination diets were fed. Concentrations of ammonia and volatile fatty acids in ruminal contents were similar for all diets. Canola meal is a suitable replacement for DDGS in dairy cow diets.