• The effect of supplementary grass silage and standard concentrate on milk fat fatty acid composition and iodine value when cows are fed a whole rapeseed-based concentrate at pasture

      Magowan, Elizabeth; Fearon, A.M.; Patterson, D.C. (Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland, 2010)
      The use of grass silage and concentrates to supplement fresh grass intake is commonly practised in dairy systems. However, the effects of such supplementation within a dietary regime designed to produce a spreadable butter are unknown. Sixteen Holstein Friesian cows were used in an incomplete changeover design to investigate the effect on milk fat of supplementation with grass silage (GS) or standard concentrate (SC) when offering a concentrate based on whole rapeseed at pasture (RC+G). A control diet of fresh grass and standard concentrate (SC+G) was also included. Diet had no effect (P > 0.05) on milk yield or on the lactose concentration of milk. The iodine value (IV; grams of iodine per 100 g milk fat) of milk fat with the RC+G diet was greater (43.9, P < 0.05) than with the SC+G diet (39.9). The iodine value of milk fat was reduced (P < 0.05) when RC+G+GS was offered (41.5 g/100g), but not when RC+G+SC was offered (43.1 g/100g), compared with when RC+G was offered. The proportion of unsaturated fatty acids in milk fat was higher (P < 0.05) when the RC+G diet was offered compared with either RC+G+GS or RC+G+SC. If supplementary feedstuffs are to be used in combination with a wholerapeseed- based concentrate and pasture, then inclusion of standard concentrate would be preferred over grass silage because the negative impact on the iodine value of milk fat was less. However, further research is required to investigate the effect on IV of milk fat when a standard concentrate supplement is offered at levels that increase milk yield.