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J Dairy Sci. 1998 Aug;81(8):2221-7.

Starch supplementation of grass harvested at two stages of maturity prior to ensiling: intake, digestion, and degradability by dairy cows.

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  • 1DLO-Institute for Animal Science and Health, Department of Ruminant Nutrition, Lelystad, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The effects of the maturity of grass prior to ensiling and the supplementation of starch to grass silage on apparent digestibility, degradability, rumen content, and feed intake by dairy cows were investigated using a Latin square design. Treatments were silages from early or late cut grass with or without 4 kg of supplemental flaked corn starch. The silage from early cut grass contained more N and sugars than did the silage from late cut grass but was lower in neutral detergent fiber (NDF). Degradation characteristics were not different between the two silages. Apparent digestibilities of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and N in the silage from late cut grass were lower than those in the silage from early cut grass, but NDF digestibility was not affected. Starch supplementation increased the lag phase for DM and OM in both silages, but the rate of degradation was decreased for NDF. Starch supplementation did not influence digestibilities of DM and OM in silage from early cut grass but decreased the digestibilities of DM and OM in silage from late cut grass. Crude protein and NDF digestibilities were decreased for silages from early and late cut grass. Starch supplementation increased NDF in the rumen of cows fed the silage from early cut grass, but NDF was not affected by starch supplementation for cows fed the silage from late cut grass. Rumen-degradable starch negatively influences degradability and apparent OM digestibility; the extent of the decrease is related to the maturity of the NDF.

PMID:
9749388
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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