Milk production and nutrient digestibility by dairy cows when fed exogenous amylase with coarsely ground dry corn.

Department of Animal Sciences, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster 44691, USA.
Journal of Dairy Science (Impact Factor: 2.55). 05/2011; 94(5):2492-9. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2010-3766
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The digestibility of starch provided by coarsely ground corn is often low, which reduces the digestible energy (DE) concentration of the diet. We hypothesized that adding exogenous amylase to diets based on coarsely ground dent corn would increase dietary DE resulting in greater milk production. Total-tract nutrient digestibility was measured in a partially replicated Latin square experiment (6 cows and 4 periods) with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Diets had 26 or 31% starch with or without exogenous amylase (amylase was added to the concentrate mixes at the feed mill). In the low and high starch diets, coarsely ground dry corn (mean particle size=1.42 mm) provided 43 and 62% of total dietary starch (corn silage provided most of the remaining starch). No treatment interactions were observed. High starch diets had greater dry matter (DM), organic matter, and energy digestibility than low starch diets, and diets with amylase had greater neutral detergent fiber digestibility than diets without amylase. Digestibility of starch averaged 88% and was not affected by treatment. A long-term (98-d) lactation study with 48 Holstein cows (74 d in milk) was conducted using 3 of the diets (low starch diets with and without amylase and the high starch diet without amylase). Addition of amylase to a diet with 26% starch did not affect intake, milk yield, milk composition, body weight, or body condition. Cows fed the diet with 31% starch had greater DM and DE intakes; yields of milk, fat, and protein; and feed efficiency than those fed diets with 26% starch. Milk composition was not affected by starch concentration. Adding exogenous amylase to a lower starch diet did not make the diet nutritionally equivalent to a higher starch diet.

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