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Milk production and fatty acid profile of dairy cows grazing four grass species pastures during the rainy season in small-scale dairy systems in the highlands of Mexico

Plata-Reyes, D. A., Morales-Almaraz, E., Martínez-García, C. G., Flores-Calvete, G., López-González, F., Prospero-Bernal, F., Valdez-Ruiz, C. L., Zamora-Juárez, Y. G., Arriaga-Jordán, C. M.
Tropical animal health and production 2018 v.50 no.8 pp. 1797-1805
Festuca arundinacea, Festulolium, Holstein, Lolium perenne, Pennisetum clandestinum, Trifolium repens, acid value, body condition, body weight, continuous grazing, dairy cows, fatty acid composition, grasses, highlands, human health, in vitro digestibility, metabolizable energy, milk, milk yield, pastures, polyunsaturated fatty acids, sward, wet season, Mexico
The study evaluated small-scale dairy systems with continuous grazing of pastures based on three temperate grasses festulolium (FL), tall fescue (TF), and perennial ryegrass (RG), compared with subtropical kikuyu grass (KG). All pastures were associated with white clover (Trifolium repens L.). Twelve multiparous Holstein cows were assigned to a 4 × 4 Latin square replicated three times with 14-day experimental periods. Sampling and analyses of pastures, concentrates, and animal variables followed standard procedures. FL showed a significantly (p < 0.05) higher mean sward height, but there were no differences (p > 0.05) in net herbage accumulation. There were significant differences (p < 0.05) among pastures for CP, NDF, ADF, in vitro digestibility of OM (IVOMD), and estimated metabolizable energy (eME). There were no differences (p > 0.05) between treatments for milk yield and composition, live weight, or body condition score. There were significant differences (p < 0.05) in fatty acid values for pastures in C14:0, C16:1, and C18:3n3. There were significant differences between treatments (p < 0.05) in milk contents for C18:0, C18:1t11, and C18:2c9t11. Grazing FL, TF, RG, or KY pastures showed no differences in milk yields. Higher values for C18:0, C18:1t11, and C18:2c9t11 were detected in KY, RG, and TF. RG had significantly higher MUFA than FL and higher PUFA than TF. A value under 65% of SFA, a ratio of n-6/n-3 lower than 4, and an atherogenic index of 1.7 are indicators of milk with beneficial effects for human health.