• Effects of forage supplements on milk production and chemical properties, in vivo digestibility, rumen fermentation and N excretion in dairy cows offered red clover silage and corn silage or dry ground corn

      Salcedo, G.; Martinez-Suller, L.; Arriaga, H.; Merino, P. (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      This study concerned the effects of partial substitution of clover silage with high starch forages on milk production and chemical composition, in vivo digestibility, rumen fermentation pattern and nitrogen excretion of dairy cows. Sixteen dairy cows were separated into two groups and were assigned to treatments in a two-period crossover design. Two forage supplements were used: corn silage (CS) and dry ground corn (DG). All animals received 4.5 kg of concentrate dry matter per day. Results showed no significant difference between the forage supplements for milk production, while significant differences (P<0.01) were observed for milk fat, milk protein and nitrogen utilisation efficiency (42 v. 4.0 g/kg, 3.5 v. 3.3 g/kg and 222 v. 188 g/kg, respectively, for DG and CS). Faecal N excretion did not differ between forage supplements, but urinary N excretion was higher for CS (P<0.05). No significant differences were observed between treatments for rumen fluid pH or for rumen fluid concentrations of ammonium nitrogen or of acetic, propionic or butyric acids. Dry matter intake and the in vivo digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, acid detergent fibre and neutral detergent fibre were all higher for CS compared with DG.