Title page for ETD etd-04072009-040603

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ireland-Perry, Rebecca L.
URN etd-04072009-040603
Title Fecal consistency as related to dietary composition in lactating Holstein cows
Degree Master of Science
Department Dairy Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stallings, Charles C. Committee Chair
James, Robert E. Committee Member
McGilliard, Michael L. Committee Member
Polan, Carl E. Committee Member
Vinson, William E. Committee Member
Wahlberg, Mark L. Committee Member
  • Dairy cattle
Date of Defense 1991-11-05
Availability restricted
Two trials were designed to study the relationships of dietary fiber (ADF) and protein level and source to fecal consistency in lactating cattle. In Experiment 1, 30 cows (12 multiparous, 18 primiparous) were randomly assigned to one of six total mixed diet treatments through four 21 d periods. For Experiment 2, six primiparous cows were used in two 6 x 6 Latin squares to evaluate water consumption, apparent digestibilities of DM, AOF, NOF, and starch, and to quantitate whole corn kernel passage. Total mixed diets for both trials were formulated to contain 17% (LF) or 25% AOF (HF) with CP levels of: 15% (S15) and 22% (S22) with soybean meal (SBM) supplementation, or 22% (G22) with combination of 50% corn gluten meal (eGM) and 50% SBM. Two forage sources were evaluated: corn silage (e) and alfalfa/corn silage (Ae) (50:50 on OM basis). Fecal consistency was evaluated using a 4 point scale (l-most fluid to 4-least fluid).

Experiment 1 demonstrated that lower dietary fiber reduced fecal pH (LF=6.65, HF=7.11) and fecal score (LF=2.18, HF=2.41), but increased fecal DM (LF=16.1%, HF=13.2%). Supplementing SBM (S22) decreased fecal DM (S22=14.1%, G22=15.5%) and fecal score (S22=2.01, G22=2.48). Forage source affected fecal DM (C=14%,AC=15.3%), but not pH or score. HF=13.2%). Supplementing SBM (S22) decreased fecal DM (S22=14.1%, G22=15.5%) and fecal score (S22=2.01, G22=2.48). Forage source affected fecal DM (C=14%,AC=15.3%), but not pH or score.

Results of Experiment 2 support major conclusions of Experiment 1. High supplementation of SBM increased daily water consumption (S22=80.2 kg, G22=74.5 kg), and reduced fecal score (S22=1.9, G22=2.4). Forage source affected apparent corn kernel (C=21.1% ,AC=33.9%) and starch (C=96%, AC=93%) digestibilities. High protein diets resulted in greater apparent DM digestibility (S15=68.2%, S22=71.8%, G22=71%). In prediction of fecal score from dietary components and animal parameters, dietary DM percent and 4% fat corrected milk (r2=.09, Experiment 1), and DM intake (r2=.12, Experiment 2) were variables most related to fecal score.

Dietary effects on fecal consistency were primarily due to ADF level and type of protein supplement. Accurate prediction of fecal consistency score from the dietary and animal parameters identified was not possible. Further study is suggested to evaluate different protein sources, the contribution of water consumption, and to clarify interactions of protein, forage source and fiber level in relation to fecal consistency.

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