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Whole Linted Cottonseed as a Forage Substitute Fed with Ground or Steam-flaked Corn: Digestibility and Performance

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Authors: D. I. Harvatine, J. L. Firkins, and M. L. Eastridge

University: Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Year Published: 2002

Abstract: Six ruminally and duodenally cannulated Holstein cows were used in a 6 × 6 Latin square design. The objective was to evaluate any potential interactions in site of nutrient digestion when neutral detergent fiber (NDF) from cottonseed was incrementally substituted for forage NDF (FNDF) from alfalfa silage and when starch availability was varied by feeding ground (G) or steam-flaked (SF) corn. Iso-NDF diets were forage control with G corn (21% FNDF), 5% whole cottonseed (WCS) with G or SF corn (18% FNDF), 10% WCS with G or SF corn (15% FNDF), and 15% WCS with G corn (12% FNDF). Ruminal or total tract digestibilities of organic matter (OM) or nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) were unaffected, but efficiency of microbial protein synthesis decreased as WCS increased. Ruminal NDF digestibility was not affected despite a linear decrease in pH, but postruminal NDF digestibility decreased with increasing WCS. Ruminal digestibilities of OM and NSC were higher for SF than G corn but did not affect efficiency of microbial N synthesis. Dry matter intake increased quadratically with increasing level of WCS but decreased when SF replaced G corn. Milk yield did not differ across treatments. Milk fat percentage was affected quadratically and milk protein increased linearly with increasing WCS. Milk fat percentage decreased but milk protein was not affected when SF replaced G corn. Lack of an interaction between corn source and level of WCS substitution suggests that WCS was equally effective in maintaining ruminal fermentation and digestibility in diets varying in ruminal starch availability.

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