Effects of addition of nutritionally improved straw in dairy cow diets at 2 starch levels

M. E. Hanlon, J. M. Moorby, H. R. McConochie, A. Foskolos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
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The objective of this experiment was to explore the effects of different dietary neutral detergent fiber sources within diets of high-producing dairy cattle with low or high starch concentrations on milk yield and composition, dry matter intake (DMI), total-tract digestibility, nitrogen (N) partitioning, and rumen function and health. Holstein-Friesian cows in early- to mid-lactation (n = 12; 666 ± 67 kg of body weight at the start of the experiment) and dry cannulated Holstein-Frisian cows (n = 4; 878 ± 67 kg of body weight at the start of the experiment) were used in multiple 4 × 4 Latin square design experiment and were offered 4 different diets. The treatments were 50:50 forage-to-concentrate diets within a total mixed ration (TMR) consisting, on a dry matter (DM) basis, of 42.4% grass silage as the main forage, 7.6% chopped untreated wheat straw, or sodium hydroxide (NaOH) wheat straw pellets, known as nutritionally improved straw (NIS), and 50.0% of 1 of 2 different concentrates with low or high starch level (TMR starch level of 16.0 vs. 24.0% of DM, respectively). Four experimental periods were used, each consisting of a 21-d adaptation period and 7 d of sampling. Dry matter intake and milk yield were both affected by the type of straw included in the diet. A 1.6 kg/d higher DMI was seen when NIS was fed compared with untreated straw, resulting in a 1.7 kg/d higher milk yield. Milk protein concentration was affected by straw type and starch level, and it was 4 and 3% higher when NIS and high-starch diets were fed, respectively. Diets with NIS were more positively effective when fed with low levels of starch. These results illustrate that feeding NIS to high-producing lactating dairy cows fed low or high starch concentrations has a positive effect on performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10233-10244
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number11
Early online date10 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2020


  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Cattle/physiology
  • Diet/veterinary
  • Dietary Fiber/administration & dosage
  • Digestion/physiology
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Lactation/physiology
  • Milk Proteins/analysis
  • Milk/chemistry
  • Nitrogen/metabolism
  • Nutritive Value/physiology
  • Rumen/metabolism
  • Starch/administration & dosage
  • Triticum/metabolism


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