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Post-ruminal or intravenous infusions of carbohydrates or amino acids to dairy cows 2. Late lactation

Schei, I., Danfaer, A., Mydland, L.T., Volden, H.
Animal 2007 v.1 no.4 pp. 515-522
dairy cows, carbohydrate intake, amino acids, late lactation
The objectives of this study were to compare the effects of post-ruminal and intravenous infusions of wheat starch or glucose (CHO) or a mixture of amino acids (AA) on milk protein yield, nitrogen (N) utilisation, plasma metabolites and mammary extraction rate of dairy cows in late lactation. Eight cow, ruminally fistulated, was assigned to two 4 x 4 Latin squares during 14-day periods, where the last 7 days were for infusions. Infusions were: (1) starch in the abomasum (SP), (2) glucose in the blood (GB), (3) AA in the abomasum (AP), and (4) AA in the blood (AB). The experiment started 165 +/- 4 days (mean +/- s.e.) post partum (milk yield 22.5 +/- 1.1 kg) Daily amounts of nutrients infused were 257, 283, 233, and 260 g for SP, GB, AP and AB, respectively. The cows were fed a basal diet consisting of a concentrate mixture and grass silage (55:45 on a dry-matter (DM) basis), where total dry-matter intake (DMI) was 13.3 kg/day. Milk production was affected by site of infusion within substrate, whereas infusion substrates within infusion site (CHO or AA) were of minor importance. Responses to intravenous infusions (GB or AB) were similar to those in early lactation, but more pronounced. Compared with SP infusion, GB infusion increased (P < 0.05) milk yield, energy-corrected milk (ECM), protein and lactose yield by 1.4 and 0.9 kg, 38 and 59 g, respectively. The AB infusion had 1.4 and 1.3 kg, 51, 52 and 50 g higher (P < 0.05) milk yield, ECM, protein, fat and lactose yields than the AP infusion, respectively. N balance data indicated higher losses of metabolic faecal nitrogen (MFN) by abomasal than by intravenous infusions, but the catabolism of AA was lower than in early lactation indicated by no difference (P < 0.05) in urinary N excretion between treatments. Intravenous AA infusion increased plasma glucose and insulin above that of intravenous glucose infusion. The treatment effects on plasma insulin concentrations were higher in late than in early lactation, suggesting a higher sensitivity in late lactation even at similar negative energy balance. Compared with the SP infusion, GB infusion showed lower (P < 0.05) concentrations of essential AA (EAA) and branched-chain AA (BCAA) resulting in a higher AA utilisation because of a higher milk protein production. AP infusion increased (P < 0.05) plasma non-essential AA concentration compared with AB infusion, but infusion site of AA had no effect (P > 0.05) on plasma EAA or BCAA. It is concluded that it is the nutrient supply and not the lactation stage per se that is important for the response in milk production. Nevertheless, stage of lactation affects the N metabolism and the response in plasma hormone concentrations even when cows are in negative energy balance in both lactation stages.