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Comparison of full-fat corn germ, whole cottonseed, and tallow as fat sources for lactating dairy cattle

Miller, W.F., Shirley, J.E., Titgemeyer, E.C., Brouk, M.J.
Journal of dairy science 2009 v.92 no.7 pp. 3386-3391
dairy cows, cow feeding, corn germ, cottonseed, tallow, dietary fat, experimental diets, lactation, Holstein, feed supplements, dry matter intake, milk yield, milk fat percentage, milk composition, milk protein percentage, milk quality, saturated fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid
Twenty-four multiparous Holstein cows (124 ± 39 d in milk; 682 ± 72 kg of body weight) were used in 6 simultaneous 4 x 4 Latin squares to evaluate full-fat corn germ as a fat source for lactating dairy cows. Experimental diets were a control (containing 28% ground corn, 23% alfalfa hay, 19% wet corn gluten feed, and 10% corn silage, dry matter basis), and 3 diets with either whole cottonseed (WCS), tallow (TAL), or full-fat corn germ (FFCG) added to provide 1.6% supplemental fat. Cows were fed twice daily for ad libitum intake. Dry matter intake, milk yield, and energy-corrected milk did not differ among diets. Efficiency of milk production (energy-corrected milk/dry matter intake) was greater for cows fed WCS than for cows fed the control, TAL, or FFCG. Milk fat percentage from cows fed FFCG was less than that of cows fed WCS or the control, but was similar to that of cows fed TAL. Milk protein percentage was less for cows fed FFCG than for those fed the control. Total saturated fatty acids were less in milk from cows fed fat sources, and cows fed WCS and TAL had greater saturated fatty acids in milk than did cows fed FFCG. Unsaturated fatty acids were greater in milk from cows fed FFCG than in milk from cows fed the control, WCS, or TAL. The cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid content was greater in milk from cows fed WCS, TAL, and FFCG than from cows fed the control, and it was greater in milk from cows fed FFCG than in milk from cows fed WCS or TAL. These results indicate that FFCG can be used effectively as a fat source in diets for lactating dairy cattle.