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Ishaya U. Gadzama & Fernando Díaz

High producing dairy cows require energy dense diets during periods of negative energy balance. Energy deficiency can reduce milk production and negatively affect milk composition, as well as increase the susceptibility of cows to metabolic disorders such as ketosis, fatty liver, and downer cow syndrome. One way to increase the energy density of dairy diets is to increase the amount of nonstructural carbohydrate. However, feeding high starch diets promote greater ruminal propionate production and predispose cows to rumen acidosis and milk fat depression. Fat is a rich source of digestible energy with 2.25 times more energy than starches and digestible fiber found in common grain or forage sources.

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