Effect of Different Rumen-degradable Carbohydrates on Rumen Fermentation, Nitrogen Metabolism and Lactation Performance of Holstein Dairy Cows

Khezri, A.;Rezayazdi, K.;Mesgaran, M. Danesh;Moradi-Sharbabk, M.

  • Received : 2008.08.01
  • Accepted : 2008.12.05
  • Published : 2009.05.01


Four multiparous lactating Holstein cows fitted with rumen cannulae were fed diets varying in the amount and source of rumen-degradable carbohydrates (starch vs. sucrose) to examine their effects on rumen fermentation, nitrogen metabolism and lactation performance. A $4{\times}4$ Latin square with four diets and four periods of 28 days each was employed. Corn starch and sucrose were added to diets and corn starch was replaced with sucrose at 0 (0 S), 2.5 (2.5 S), 5.0 (5.0 S) 7.5% (7.5 S) of diet dry matter in a total mixed ration (TMR) containing 60% concentrate and 40% forage (DM basis). Replacing corn starch with sucrose did not affect (p>0.05) ruminal pH which averaged 6.41, but the ruminal pH for 7.5 S decreased more rapidly at 2 h after morning feeding compared with other treatments. Sucrose reduced ($p{\leq}0.05$) ruminal $NH_3-N$ concentration (13.90 vs. 17.09 mg/dl) but did not affect peptide-N concentration. There was no dietary effect on total volatile fatty acids (110.53 mmol/L) or the acetate to propionate ratio (2.72). No differences (p>0.05) in molar proportion of most of the individual VFA were found among diets, except for the molar proportion of butyrate that was increased ($p{\leq}0.05$) with the inclusion of sucrose. Total branched chain volatile fatty acids tended to increase ($p{\geq}0.051$) for the control treatment (0 S) compared with the 7.5 S treatment. Dry matter intake, body weight changes and digestibility of DM, OM, CP, NDF and ADF were not affected by treatments. Sucrose inclusion in the total mixed ration did not affect milk yield, but increased milk fat and total solid percentage ($p{\leq}0.05$). Sucrose tended ($p{\geq}0.063$) to increase milk protein percentage (3.28 vs. 3.05) and reduced ($p{\leq}0.05$) milk urea nitrogen concentration (12.75 vs. 15.48 mg/dl), suggesting a more efficient utilization of the rapidly available nitrogen components in the diet and hence improving nitrogen metabolism in the rumen.


Sucrose;Rumen Degradable Carbohydrates;Rumen Fermentation;Nitrogen Metabolism;Lactation Performance


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