Effect of Dietary Feeding Regimens on Urea and Protein Concentration of Milk in Murrah Buffaloes

  • Roy, B. (Reprint request, Artificial Breeding Complex, NDRI) ;
  • Mehla, R.K. (Dairy Cattle Breeding Division, National Dairy Research Institute) ;
  • Sirohi, S.K. (Dairy Cattle Nutrition Division, National dairy research institute)
  • Received : 2004.09.22
  • Accepted : 2005.03.07
  • Published : 2005.07.01


The present study was planned to examine the effect of different feeding regimens on milk urea concentration and milk protein concentration. The objectives are to describe the diurnal variations of milk urea (MU) concentration and to predict plasma urea (PU) concentration from MU concentration. Six lactating Murrah buffaloes were distributed in two groups and were fed two different diets in a crossover design. The diets consisted of leguminous crops as diet 1 (berseem (Trifolium alexandrinum)+concentrate mixture 1+wheat straw)) and non-leguminous crops as diet 2 (oats (Avana sativa)+concentrate mixture 2+wheat straw). All the diets were isocaloric and isonitrogenous. Each diet was fed to the animals for a period of 28 days, followed by a 10 day gap to obviate the carry over effect of the previous diet and then a switch over to the other diet. Digestibility trials were conducted on the last 7 days of each feeding period. Milk samples were collected on day 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24 and 28 of the feeding period and blood samples were collected on the same day at morning within 30 minutes after morning milking. The average milk urea (MU) values (mg/dl) differed significantly (p<0.01) and were 44.83${\pm}$0.62 and 42.53${\pm}$0.73, respectively, for diets 1 and 2. Milk urea concentrations (mg/dl) also varied (p 0.01) among the days of feeding period, but were stabilized after 10th day of feeding period. In contrast, diets and days of feeding period had no significant effect on percent milk protein. Plasma urea concentration showed a significant (p<0.01) positive correlation (r = 0.93) with MU concentration. To predict the PU from MU the following equation was developed 'PU = 10.67${\pm}$0.76${\times}$MU (mg/dl) with $R^2$ = 0.87'. A clear diurnal variation of MU was found with lowered morning value (42.04${\pm}$0.68 mg/dl) than the evening value (45.32${\pm}$0.66 mg/dl). Present findings suggested that MU or PU concentration could be used as an indicator to monitor the feeding strategy. Plasma urea can be predicted from MU, whenever interpretation of milk urea data required consideration of diurnal variation.


Digestible Crude Protein;Metabolizable Energy;Dry Matter;Net Energy for Lactation;Milk Urea;Plasma Urea


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