ABSTRACT: Forty-four lactating Holstein cows (173±30 DIM, 42.5±6.8 kg of milk, 4.03±0.69% fat, 674±78 kg of body weight) were used in an 8-wk, completely randomized trial with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments to determine the effect of forage source and supplemental cellulase enzyme on performance. Treatments included 2 forage combinations (corn silage plus 12.2% dry matter, DM, from either alfalfa hay or Tifton 85 bermudagrass haylage) with or without a commercial cellulase enzyme applied to the total mixed ration at the rate of 4 g/head per day (Promote N.E.T.-L, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Minneapolis, MN). Experimental diets were formulated to provide similar concentrations of protein (16.5% of DM), energy (1.63 Mcal of net energy for lactation/kg of DM), and neutral detergent fiber (41.7% of DM) and were fed once daily as a total mixed ration behind Calan doors for ad libitum intake. The cellulase enzyme provided 1,200 cellulase units of activity/g of product and was applied to the total mixed ration and allowed to mix for 5min before feeding. Before beginning the trial, all cows were trained to use Calan (American Calan, Northwood, NH) doors and then fed the alfalfa hay-based diet for 2 wk. Data collected during wk 2 were used as a covariate in the statistical analysis. At the beginning of the 6-wk experimental period, cows were assigned randomly to 1 of the 4 experimental diets. No interactions were observed between forage and enzyme for any measures. Daily DM intake; milk yield; concentrations of milk fat, true protein, lactose, and solids not fat; energy-corrected milk yield; and dairy efficiency were not different among alfalfa or Tifton 85 bermudagrass rations with or without cellulase enzyme supplementation. The results of this trial indicate that Tifton 85 bermudagrass haylage can replace alfalfa hay in diets fed to high-producing, lactating dairy cows without depressing DM intake or milk yield when rations are balanced for NDF. Although supplemental cellulase enzymes have been shown to improve ration digestibility and animal performance in previous trials, no advantages were observed in the current trial.
Journal of Dairy Science 11/2010; 93(11):5280-5. · 2.56 Impact Factor