Fecal consistency as related to dietary composition in lactating Holstein cows
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Experiment 1 demonstrated that lower dietary fiber reduced fecal pH (LF=6.65, HF=7.11) and fecal score (LF=2.18, HF=2.41), but increased fecal DM (LF=16.1%, HF=13.2%). Supplementing SBM (S22) decreased fecal DM (S22=14.1%, G22=15.5%) and fecal score (S22=2.01, G22=2.48). Forage source affected fecal DM (C=14%,AC=15.3%), but not pH or score. HF=13.2%). Supplementing SBM (S22) decreased fecal DM (S22=14.1%, G22=15.5%) and fecal score (S22=2.01, G22=2.48). Forage source affected fecal DM (C=14%,AC=15.3%), but not pH or score.
Results of Experiment 2 support major conclusions of Experiment 1. High supplementation of SBM increased daily water consumption (S22=80.2 kg, G22=74.5 kg), and reduced fecal score (S22=1.9, G22=2.4). Forage source affected apparent corn kernel (C=21.1% ,AC=33.9%) and starch (C=96%, AC=93%) digestibilities. High protein diets resulted in greater apparent DM digestibility (S15=68.2%, S22=71.8%, G22=71%). In prediction of fecal score from dietary components and animal parameters, dietary DM percent and 4% fat corrected milk (r2=.09, Experiment 1), and DM intake (r2=.12, Experiment 2) were variables most related to fecal score.
Dietary effects on fecal consistency were primarily due to ADF level and type of protein supplement. Accurate prediction of fecal consistency score from the dietary and animal parameters identified was not possible. Further study is suggested to evaluate different protein sources, the contribution of water consumption, and to clarify interactions of protein, forage source and fiber level in relation to fecal consistency.
- Masters Theses