Author(s): Waltz DM, Stern MD, Illg DJ
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Abstract Four lactating cows fitted with ruminal cannulae and T-type cannulae in the proximal duodenum and terminal ileum were utilized to measure protein degradation in the rumen and amino acid flow to and absorption from the small intestine. Soybean meal, blood meal, feather meal, and a 50-50 combination of blood meal and feather meal provided 50\% of the protein in diets that contained 50\% grain mix, 40\% corn silage, and 10\% alfalfa pellets on a DM basis. Ruminal degradation of dietary CP was 53, 43, 32, and 37\% for diets containing soybean meal, blood meal, feather meal, and the combination of meals. Cows fed the latter two diets also had lower ruminal NH3 concentrations and efficiency of bacterial protein synthesis compared to those fed the soybean meal diet. Total tract N digestibility was lower for diets containing feather meal (63.4\%) and a combination of meals (66.3\%) than the soybean meal diet (78.5\%). Total amino acid flow to the duodenum was 19.3 and 15.6\% higher for cows fed the feather meal and combined meal diets, respectively, compared with the soybean meal diet. Total amino acid absorption from the small intestine was higher as well as absorption of individual amino acids for the combined meal diet compared with the soybean meal diet. Absorption of individual amino acids, expressed as a percentage entering the duodenum, was lowest for the feather meal diet. Results from this study show that feeding a combination of blood meal and feather meal instead of soybean meal can increase intestinal supply and absorption of amino acids in dairy cattle.
This article was published in J Dairy Sci
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