• Adding value to milk by increasing its protein and CLA contents

      Murphy, J.J.; Stanton, Catherine; O'Donovan, Michael; Kavanagh, S.; Maher, J.; Patton, Joe; Mohammed, Riaz (Teagasc, 2008-08-01)
      The mid-summer milk protein study was undertaken on 34 commercial dairy farms in 2005 to evaluate the influence of dietary and management variables on milk protein content in mid-season. Data on grass composition, genetic merit of the herds and milk protein content were collected and analysed by multiple regression. Both calving date and genetic merit for milk protein content were significantly associated with milk protein content and were used as adjustment factors when evaluating the association between measures of grass quality and milk protein content. Milk protein content was associated with grass OMD (P = 0.04) and NDF content (P = 0.02) but not with CP content (P = 0.80). It is concluded that herds calving earlier, with a greater genetic merit for milk protein content and consuming better quality pasture would have greater milk protein contents in mid-season.
    • Adding value to milk by increasing its protein and CLA contents.

      Murphy, J.J.; Stanton, Catherine; O'Donovan, Michael; Kavanagh, S.; Maher, J.; Patton, J.; Mohammed, R. (Teagasc, 2008-08-01)
      Five experiments were undertaken in this project; one on mid-summer milk protein and four on milk CLA content. Thus the two main objectives of this project were to determine the factors associated with milk protein concentration in mid-summer and to investigate potential further strategies to increase the CLA content of pasture produced milk.
    • Effect of Pre-and Post-weaning Nutrition and Management on Performance of Weaned Pigs to circa 35 kg.

      Lynch, P.B.; Kavanagh, S.; Lawlor, Peadar G; Young, M.; Harrington, D.; Caffrey, P.J.; Henry, W.D. (Teagasc, 1998-12-01)
      The objective of this project was to examine the factors affecting performance (growth rate, appetite, feed conversion efficiency) of pigs in the stage from weaning to 35 kg liveweight. The study involved three stages, creep feeding during the suckling period, management during the first weaner stage (c. 4 weeks from weaning or 6 kg to 15 kg liveweight) and management during the second weaner stage (c. 15 kg to 35 kg liveweight. Creep feed intake before weaning was low c. 2.5 to 3.0 kg per litter but where it was consumed the response in terms of feed conversion efficiency was good with litter weight increasing in weight by about 1.1 kg for each 1 kg creep consumed. Milk replacer in liquid form was very readily consumed but its preparation and feeding is very laborious. Weaning weight was poorly related to post weaning performance and weaning age seemed to be more critical which is probably a reflection of the greater maturity of older animals. In the first weaner stage, feeding of cooked cereal containing diets was found to have little benefit in pig performance. Acidification of feeds is likely to have only a minor influence on pig performance. An experiment on choice feeding of starter and link feeds did not confirm that smaller pigs require a higher quality diet and, in a choice situation will eat a greater proportion of the more nutrient dense diet. In the second weaner stage, comparison of three commercial weaner feeds with a cereal based control diet showed good performance on all four diets. Pigs fed a high lysine weaner diet grew better in the weaner stage but by slaughter those pigs fed the low lysine weaner diet, after all pigs were fed a common finisher diet, had overtaken them. The high lysine group did, however, have leaner carcasses. Residual effects of early nutrition need to be investigated in more detail including the effect of pregnancy feeding on prenatal development and the relationship between prenatal growth and postnatal growth, in particular development of muscle.
    • Evaluation and Refinement of the French Protein System (PDI) under Irish Conditions

      Murphy, J.J.; Bohane, D.C.; Fitzgerald, J.J.; Kavanagh, S.; O'Mara, Frank P. (Teagasc, 2004-01-01)
      The CP and DM degradability of grazed grass (between April and October, inclusive) and grass silage samples (differing in cut number and treatment) was determined using the in situ technique and the results obtained were used to calculate the PDIE and PDIN values. The degradability data on 12 concentrate ingredients from a previous study (Woods, 2000) were used to estimate PDIE and PDIN values for these feedstuffs. The mean PDIE and PDIN values determined for grass were 81 g/kg and 127 g/kg DM, respectively and for grass silage were 60 g/kg and 94 g/kg DM. Regression analysis resulted in equations to predict the PDIN of samples of grazed grass (PDIN = 3.8 + 0.628 CP) (R²= 0.999) and grass silage (PDIN = 5.9 + 0.605 CP) (R²= 0.997), and the PDIE of grazed grass (PDIE = 181.4 - 0.104 NDF - 0.195 ash - 0.047 OMD) (R²= 0.987) and grass silage (PDIE = 27.7 + 0.083 DMD - 0.147 CP) (R²= 0.812). The PDIE and PDIN values of 11 of the 12 concentrate ingredients were similar to those used in the French Tables but the maize distillers’ grains in this study and those used in France would appear to be quite different products. The response to PDIE and PDIN in the diet of lactating cows was evaluated and the effect of better balancing the PDIE and PDIN supply on the efficiency of N utilisation was assessed. Twenty autumn calving cows were blocked in a complete Latin Square design and assigned to four different diets varying in PDIN and PDIE content. Each of the four treatments consisted of a concentrate, maize silage and grass silage in the proportions 37:38:25 on a DM basis. There were 4 periods of 4-week duration each. Diet A contained 92 g/kg DM of PDIE and 116 g/kg DM of PDIN. Diet B contained 103 g/kg DM of PDIE and 122 g/kg DM of PDIN. Diet C and D over supplied PDIN at 137 g/kg and 153 g/kg, respectively relative to PDIE at 111 g/kg DM. Dry matter intake increased significantly with the excess dietary PDIN relative to PDIE but there were no significant differences in milk yield and composition. Decreasing the supply of PDIE in the diet (i.e. diet A vs. B) resulted in no significant effect on milk or constituent yields but did significantly reduce the efficiency (kg milk / kg DMI) of milk production. There was also a significant reduction in the efficiency of milk produced per kg DMI with increasing dietary concentrations of PDIN and increasing PDIN: PDIE balance (B>C>D). Increasing the dietary PDIN from 122 to 153 g/kg DMI increased urine N (+54%), faecal N (+11%) and plasma urea concentrations (+75%). The results indicate that the optimum concentration of dietary PDI is approximately 103 g/kg DM for cows producing about 35 kg of milk per day. A better balance between PDIE and PDIN supply improves the efficiency of conversion of DM to milk and dietary protein.
    • Evaluation of fermented whole crop wheat, urea-treated processed whole crop wheat and maize silage for dairy cows

      Murphy, J.J.; Burke, F.; Kavanagh, S.; O'Donovan, Michael; Mulligan, F.J. (Teagasc, 2006-01-01)
      There has been increased interest in and increased usage of forages other than grass silage for feeding dairy cows during the winter period. This has arisen because of the inconsistency in making good quality grass silage and the low intake characteristics of this feed. The main objective of this project was to evaluate the effects on dairy cow intake and performance of offering fermented whole crop wheat (WCW) silage, urea-treated processed WCW and maize silage in mixtures with grass silage compared with grass silage alone. The value of these feeds as supplements to grazed grass in the Autumn for late lactation spring calving cows and their effect on dietary nitrogen (N) utilisation for milk protein production were also investigated. The first two experiments evaluated the effects of including 67% of the forage mixture on a dry matter (DM) basis as fermented WCW, urea-treated processed WCW (also known as “Alkalage”) or maize silage in comparison to grass silage alone in the diet of autumn calving cows. The fermented WCW and urea-treated processed WCW were harvested at a stubble height of approximately 20 cm. Sixty and 95% of the grain was milled/cracked in the urea-treated processed WCW in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Forages were supplemented with concentrates of varying crude protein (CP) concentrations so as to maintain a similar CP concentration in the total dietary dry matter across treatments. In both experiments all the feeds were well preserved. The DM (g/kg) and starch contents (g/kg DM) in the fermented WCW, urea-treated processed WCW and maize silage in experiments 1 were 406 and 282, 733 and 324, 221 and 140 and in experiment 2 were 370 and 323, 763 and 341 and 302 and 324, respectively. Results from both experiments were similar. The three forage mixtures resulted in greater DM intake and greater fat plus protein production than grass silage. The largest effect on intake was obtained with the urea-treated processed WCW which probably reflected the greater DM content of this forage mixture compared with the others. Milk protein content was generally similar across the three forage mixtures and greater than on grass silage as the sole forage. In the third experiment short-straw urea-treated processed WCW (harvested at a stubble height of 35 cm) was evaluated in comparison to the fermented WCW (harvested at a stubble height of 20 cm), maize silage and grass silage. The DM (g/kg) and starch (g/kg DM) contents in the fermented WCW, urea-treated processed WCW and maize silage were 389 and 316, 795 and 382 and 346 and 301, respectively. Fifty nine percent of the grain was cracked/processed in the urea-treated processed UP-WCW .Level of inclusion of forages in the diets was the same as in the first two experiments and total dietary CP was again maintained at a similar concentration across treatments by offering concentrates of varying CP concentrations. The higher harvesting height of the urea-treated processed WCW resulted in a greater starch concentration in this feed in comparison to the first two experiments. The results however were very similar to those obtained in the first two experiments with the forage mixtures again increasing DM intake and fat plus protein yield. Inclusion of the short-straw urea-treated processed WCW did not result in greater fat plus protein production compared with the inclusion of fermented WCW or maize silage. The greatest efficiency of conversion of dietary nitrogen (N) to milk N was achieved with the maize silage mixture and the least efficiency with the urea-treated process WCW mixture. In experiment 4 the nutritive value of fermented WCW, urea-treated processed WCW and maize silage were evaluated in comparison to a concentrate as supplements to grazed grass for spring calving cows in the autumn. A treatment with a high grass allowance of 24 kgDM (> 4 cm)/cow per day was also included while the grass allowance on the supplemented treatments was restricted to 17 kgDM (> 4 cm)/cow per day. All the supplemented treatments and the high grass allowance treatment gave greater milk yields than the unsupplemented restricted grass treatment. The concentrate supplement resulted in the greatest solids corrected milk yield and this was greater than any of the forage supplemented treatments which were not significantly different from one another. In the final experiment the output of N in milk, urine and faeces was measured when grass silage, fermented WCW, urea-treated processed WCW and maize silage were fed as the sole forages plus 6 kg of a concentrate containing 338 g crude protein/kg DM. The proportion of consumed N excreted in urine and faeces was greatest on grass silage and urea-treated processed WCW with fermented WCW and maize silage resulting in the greatest proportion of consumed N being excreted in milk. Overall, the project demonstrated that including either type of WCW or maize silage with grass silage increased fat plus protein production and protein concentration to a similar extent compared to grass silage as the sole forage. All three forages increased DM intake with the greatest increase observed with urea-treated processed WCW. Because of this greater intake resulting in similar fat plus protein production conversion of dietary DM to milk solids was less efficient on urea-treated processed WCW based diets than on fermented WCW or maize silage based diets. Grass silage and urea-treated processed WCW based diets were least N efficient with less dietary N being incorporated into milk N than on fermented WCW or maize silage based diets. Comparing the responses on the forage mixtures relative to one another and to grass silage across experiments 1 to 3 indicates that neither degree of grain processing or harvesting height (within the ranges studied here) are of substantial importance in determining the nutritive value of urea-treated processed WCW. All of the three alternative forages gave similar solids corrected milk yield responses when used as buffer feeds for spring calved cows at pasture in the autumn but these responses were less than 50% of the response to a concentrate supplement.