Effect of a grain challenge on ruminal, urine, and fecal pH, apparent total-tract starch digestibility, and milk composition of Holstein and Jersey cows

S. Luan, K. Cowles, M. R. Murphy, F. C. Cardoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of a grain challenge on ruminal, urine, and fecal pH, apparent total-tract starch digestibility, and milk composition were determined. Six Holstein cows, 6 rumen-cannulated Holstein cows, and 6 Jersey cows were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design balanced to measure carryover effects. Periods (10 d) were divided into 4 stages (S): S1, d 1 to 3, served as baseline with regular total mixed ration ad libitum; S2, d 4, served as restricted feeding, with cows offered 50% of the total mixed ration fed on S1 (dry matter basis); S3, d 5, a grain challenge was performed, in which cows were fed total mixed ration ad libitum and not fed (CON) or fed an addition of 10% (MG) or 20% (HG) pellet wheat-barley (1:1) top-dressed onto the total mixed ration, based on dry matter intake obtained in S1; S4, d 6 to 10, served as recovery stage with regular total mixed ration fed ad libitum. Overall, cows had a quadratic treatment effect for milk yield where CON (22.6 kg/d) and HG (23.5 kg/d) had lower milk yield than cows in MG (23.7 kg/d). Jersey cows had a quadratic treatment effect for dry matter intake where cows in CON (13.2 kg/d) and HG (12.4 kg/d) had lower dry matter intake than cows in MG (14 kg/d). Holstein cows had a linear treatment effect for dry matter intake (17.7, 18.4, and 18.6 kg/d for CON, MG, and HG, respectively). Rumen pH for the rumen-cannulated cows had a linear treatment effect (6.45, 6.35, and 6.24 for CON, MG, and HG, respectively). Cows in HG spent more time with rumen pH below 5.8 (4.33 h) than MG (2 h) or CON (2.17 h) as shown by the quadratic treatment effect. Holstein cows in HG (8.46) had lower urine pH than MG (8.51) or CON (8.54) as showed by the linear treatment effect for urine pH. Apparent total-tract starch digestibility had a tendency for a linear treatment effect on S3 (97.62 ± 1.5, 97.47 ± 1.5, and 91.84 ± 1.6%, for CON, MG, and HG, respectively). Fecal pH was associated with rumen pH depression as early as 15 h after feeding for Holstein cows. In conclusion, a grain challenge reduced urine pH in Holstein cows but not in Jersey cows. Holstein cows' health were not affected when rumen pH was depressed. A potentially useful link between rumen pH and systemic (urine) pH within 2 h after feeding was quantified in Holstein cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2190-2200
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume99
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Acidosis
  • Grain challenge
  • PH
  • Starch digestibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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