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J Dairy Sci. 1992 Feb;75(2):502-7.

Effects of feeding fish meal to cows on digestibility, milk production, and milk composition.

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Animal Research Centre, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, ON.


Holstein cows in early lactation, producing about 30 kg/d of milk, were fed high energy diets containing 5% Megalac. Three protein treatments, soybean meal diet (16% CP), fish meal diet (16% CP), and soybean meal-fish meal diet (20% CP) were compared in a change-over design. Digestibilities of DM, gross energy, CP, and ADF were not affected significantly by protein treatments. The fish meal diet decreased DMI but increased milk and SCM production compared with the soybean meal diet. Daily production of milk, SCM, and milk components (fat, protein, and lactose) were highest and BW gain lowest for the high protein soybean meal-fish meal diet. The fish meal and soybean meal-fish meal diets increased fat percentage but decreased lactose percentage of milk compared with soybean meal diet. This suggests that, for each diet, the energy supply was adequate, and the observed changes were the effects of protein (i.e., AA) supply to the cows. Thus, there seems to be good reason to feed a good quality undegradable protein like fish meal to cows producing more than 30 kg/d of milk.

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