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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Forage and concentrate protein utilization by dairy cattle Kamande, George Matiru


In the first part of this study, the relative in situ rumen degradabilities of some common Kenyan feedstuffs were estimated using two fistulated steers. The second part of the study attempted to manipulate rumen fermentation processes by heat treating dietary protein, and also by varying the hay particle size. The in situ dacron bag technique was used to estimate the feeding value of some common Kenyan forages. The rate and extent of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) degradation in the rumen was then determined from the incubated samples. Effective DM and CP degradation was also estimated at various rumen digesta flow rates. Green maize chop, fodder sorghum, napier grass, kikuyu grass, Pennisetum trachyphyllum, rhubarb leaves, banana leaves, sweet potato vines, desmodium and lucerne had moderate to high DM and CP degradability (>50%). These feedstuffs would therefore offer greater potential for conservation for feeding dairy cattle in the dry season. Wheat straw, maize stover, red oats grass and naivasha stargrass had significantly (P<0.05) lower rumen degradability. This last group would require supplemental energy and nitrogen in order to meet the dairy cow's nutrients requirements. Wheat bran had a high DM degradability but its CP degradability was low. The digestibility and amino acid availability of its protein requires further investigations. The effects of forage particle length and heat treatment of protein sources on intake, milk yield and composition and, ration digestibility were determined using dairy cows. Normal or heated canola meal and dehydrated alfalfa were fed together with orchard grass hay to 24 lactating Holstein cows. Orchard grass hay was chopped to two mean cut lengths i.e 14.19 and 1.71 mm. In situ results showed that both canola meal and alfalfa proteins in the supplement was made indigestible by heat. Heat treatment did not affect in vivo dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) digestibility for the complete canola rations. Milk yield was also not significantly affected by heating canola meal. However, neutral detergent fibre (NDF) digestibility, voluntary feed intake, butter fat and milk protein contents decreased with heat treatment. Reduced forage particle size in combination with heat treatment resulted in significantly lower DM, CP, and ADF digestibility. There was no significant change in voluntary feed intake, milk yield or its components, (except lactose content), with reduced hay particle size. Lactose content was significantly higher with long chop hay. Heat treatment of "alfalfa and short hay particle size resulted in lower DM and CP digestibility of the complete rations. ADF digestibility and voluntary feed intake were reduced with heat treatment. Hay particle size did not affect voluntary feed intake significantly. Milk yield and its components increased with heat treatment of alfalfa. Only total milk fat increased with the longer chop hay.

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