Main content area

Effects of magnesium source and monensin on nutrient digestibility and mineral balance in lactating dairy cows

Tebbe, A.W., Wyatt, D.J., Weiss, W.P.
Journal of dairy science 2018 v.101 no.2 pp. 1152-1163
Holstein, antagonism, calcium, dairy cows, diet, digestibility, digestion, feces, lactating females, lactation, long chain fatty acids, magnesium, magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, mammary glands, milk, milk yield, minerals, monensin, nutrients, potassium carbonate, starch, urine
The interaction of monensin and 2 supplemental Mg sources (MgO and MgSO4) on total-tract digestion of minerals and organic nutrients and milk production was evaluated in lactating dairy cattle. Eighteen multiparous Holstein cows (139 ± 35 DIM) were used in a split-plot experiment with 0 or 14 mg/kg diet DM of monensin as the whole-plot treatments and Mg source as split-plot treatments. During the entire experiment (42 d), cows remained on the same monensin treatment but received a different Mg source in each period (21 d) of the Latin square. Diets were formulated to contain 0.35% Mg with about 40% of that provided by MgO or MgSO4. Diets were formulated to have similar concentrations of major nutrients and K concentrations were elevated (2.1% of DM) with K2CO3 to create antagonism to Mg absorption. Apparent digestibility was measured by total collection of urine and feces. Supplemental MgSO4 decreased DMI (26.9 vs. 25.7 kg/d) and tended to decrease milk yield (40.2 vs. 39.3 kg/d), but increased the digestibility of OM (68.3 vs. 69.2%) and starch (91.9 vs. 94.4%) compared with MgO. Feeding MgSO4 with monensin decreased NDF digestibility compared with other treatments (46.7 vs. 50.2%). That diet also had decreased apparent absorption of Mg compared with diets without monensin (15.6 vs. 19.2%), whereas MgO with monensin had greater apparent absorption of Mg (23.0%) than other treatments. Cows consuming MgSO4 had increased apparent Ca absorption (32.2 vs. 28.1%) and balance. A diet with MgSO4 without monensin increased the concentration of long-chain fatty acids in milk, suggesting increased mobilization of body fat or decreased de novo fatty acid synthesis in the mammary gland. Overall, when dietary Mg was similar, MgO was the superior Mg source for lactating dairy cattle, but inclusion of monensin in diets should be considered when evaluating Mg sources.