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Effects of fat supplementation to diets high in nonforage fiber on production responses of midlactation dairy cows

Ylioja, C.M., Abney-Schulte, C., Stock, R., Bradford, B.J.
Journal of dairy science 2018 v.101 no.7 pp. 6066-6073
Holstein, calcium, corn, dairy cows, dietary fat, dry matter intake, energy, lactating females, lactation, lipid content, long chain fatty acids, milk, milk yield, protein content, salts, saturated fats
The effects of dietary nonforage fiber sources on production responses of lactating dairy cattle have been well described, but interactions with other components of the diet have been less thoroughly explored. We investigated the effects of adding 2 commonly fed fat sources to a ration featuring high levels of nonforage fiber supplied by a corn milling by-product. Midlactation Holstein cows were blocked by parity, stratified by days in milk, and randomly assigned to 1 of 6 pens (12 cows/pen). Pens were randomly assigned to treatment sequences in a 3 × 3 Latin square design, where the treatments consisted of prilled saturated fat (SAT; Energy Booster 100, Milk Specialties Co., Dundee, IL), calcium salts of long-chain fatty acids (UNS; Megalac, Church and Dwight Co. Inc., Princeton, NJ), or no added dietary fat (control), with fat sources included to provide 1.2% added fat (dry matter basis). Treatment periods were 21 d; milk and feed samples were collected and milk yield and feed intake were recorded for the last 4 d of each period. Results were analyzed with mixed models with pen as the experimental unit, and orthogonal contrasts were employed to evaluate the overall effect of added fat and the effect of fat source. Dry matter intake and milk yield tended to increase with added fat. Protein content decreased with fat supplementation, to a greater degree for UNS than for SAT, but protein yield was not affected. Fat content, fat yield, and energy-corrected milk yield were not affected by treatment. Conversion of feed to milk tended to increase for UNS compared with SAT. Fat supplementation to diets high in nonforage fiber had effects that were similar to those reported for more traditional lactation diets, except for the dry matter intake response.