Concentrate allowance and corn grain processing influence milk production, body reserves, milk fatty acid profile, and blood metabolites of dairy cows in the early postpartum period

A. Razzaghi, J. K. Drackley, M. Malekkhahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study goal was to determine the effects of a fast (FAS) or slow (SLW) incremental rate of concentrate feeding and corn processing method during the early postpartum period on lactational performance, body reserves, blood metabolites, and milk fatty acid (FA) profile. Forty multiparous Holstein cows were used in a randomized block design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Treatment diets were either a FAS [1.0 kg of dry matter (DM)/d] or SLW (0.25 kg of DM/d) incremental rate of concentrate feeding (up to 12 kg of DM/d) with either dry ground corn (DGC) or steam-flaked corn (SFC) as the primary starch source in concentrate. Treatments were fed from 5 to 64 d postpartum. The basal diet consisted of forage, soybean meal, and 5 kg/d concentrate in the postpartum period. Throughout the experiment, dry matter intake (DMI) and milk yield were measured daily, and milk components, body condition score, and body weight were recorded at 16-d intervals, whereas blood metabolites and milk FA profile were measured at 16 and 32 d in milk. The incremental rate of concentrate feeding interacted with corn processing method to affect plasma concentration of glucose with greater glucose in SFC treatment compared with DGC in cows fed with the FAS strategy. Cows fed FAS and SFC had a greater total DMI than those fed SLW and DGC counterparts (22.8 versus 22.1 kg and 22.7 versus 22.1 kg, respectively), and also SFC increased yield of actual milk compared with the DGC counterpart (42.7 versus 41.6 kg). The milk fat and energy-corrected milk yields were not different among treatments whereas milk protein yield was greater when SFC was fed. Greater incremental rate of concentrate feeding tended to increase milk lactose yield during the first 64 d of lactation. The loss of body condition score increased when cows were fed SLW for the entire period and plasma nonesterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations increased with the SLW strategy. The proportions of total trans 18:1 and trans-11 18:1 FA in milk fat were higher in cows fed FAS. However, feeding SLW enhanced milk de novo and mixed FA proportions compared with FAS, whereas the proportions of milk FA were not affected by corn grain processing method. The incremental rate of concentrate feeding had significant effects on DMI, milk yield, and body reserve changes. Although feeding SFC instead of DGC had benefits on DMI and milk yield at 48 and 64 d postpartum, treatments did not interact to affect production responses when cows were fed with the SLW strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5479-5492
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume104
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • concentrate allowance
  • corn processing
  • energy balance
  • postpartum period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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