Utilization of brown midrib corn silage and Tifton 85 bermudagrass in rations for early lactating cows
Castro Marquez, Juan Jose
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The effect of feeding combinations of forages on the performance of forty early lactating Holstein cows was evaluated in an 8–wk randomized design trial. Treatments were arranged as a 2 x 2 factorial to include silage from either normal (NCS) or brown midrib (BMR) corn with or without Tifton 85 bermudagrass. In a simultaneous digestion trial, the same treatments effect on degradation and passage kinetics and ruminal fermentation was evaluated in a 4 x 4 Latin square design trial. Feeding BMR increased dry matter and fiber intake. Addition of T85 reduced milk yield but increased milk fat concentration which led to similar energy corrected milk yield among treatments. Passage and degradation rates were similar among treatments. T85 caused higher ruminal pH. Results indicate that BMR allows greater energy intake and inclusion of T85 at 10% of DM maintains acceptable performance while promoting rumen health in early lactation cows.