Replacement of barley with oats and dehulled oats: Effects on milk production, enteric methane emissions, and energy utilization in dairy cows fed a grass silage-based dietFant, Petra; Ramin, Mohammad; Huhtanen, Pekka
Sixteen Nordic Red dairy cows, at 80 ± 4.6 d in milk and with an average body weight of 624 ± 91.8 kg, were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design to investigate the effects of different concentrate supplements on milk production, enteric CH4 emissions, ruminal fermentation, digestibility, and energy utilization. The cows were blocked into 4 groups based on parity and milk yield and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 experimental concentrates: (1) barley, (2) hulled oats, (3) an oat mixture consisting of hulled and dehulled oats, 50:50 on dry matter basis, and (4) dehulled oats; canola meal was a protein supplement in all 4 concentrates. The cows were fed grass silage and experimental concentrate (forage-to-concentrate ratio 60:40 on dry matter basis) ad libitum. To compare the effects of barley and oats, the barley diet was compared with the overall mean of the hulled oat, oat mixture, and dehulled oat diets. To investigate the effects of gradual replacement of hulled oats with dehulled oats, linear and quadratic contrasts were specified. Milk and energy-corrected milk (ECM) yield were higher on the oat diets compared with the barley diet but were not affected by the type of oats. Concentrations of milk constituents were not affected by grain species or type of oats, except for protein concentration, which was lower on the oat diets than on the barley diet. Feeding the oat diets led to higher milk protein yield and higher milk urea N concentrations. Feed efficiency tended to be higher on the oat diets, and linearly increased with increased inclusion of dehulled oats. Methane emissions (g/d) and CH4 yield (g/kg of dry matter intake) were unaffected by grain species but increased linearly with increasing inclusion of dehulled oats in the diet. Because of higher ECM yield, CH4 intensity (g/kg of ECM) was on average 5.7% lower from cows on the oat diets than on the barley diet. Ruminal fermentation was not affected by dietary treatment. Total-tract apparent digestibility of organic matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber was unaffected by grain species but linearly increased with increasing inclusion of dehulled oats. Gross energy content was higher on the oat diets and linearly increased with increasing inclusion of dehulled oats. Feeding the oat diets led to a lower ratio of CH4 energy to gross energy intake, greater milk energy and heat production but no change in energy balance. Gradual replacement of hulled oats with dehulled oats linearly increased gross energy digestibility, CH4 energy, metabolizable energy intake, heat production, and energy balance. We observed no effect of dietary treatment on efficiency of metabolizable energy use for lactation. In conclusion, replacing barley with any type of oats increased milk and ECM yield, which led to a 5.7% decrease in CH4 intensity. In addition, dehulling of oats before feeding is unnecessary because it did not significantly improve production performance of dairy cows in positive energy balance.
Keywordssustainability; agriculture; concentrate supplement
Published inJournal of Dairy Science
2021, volume: 104, number: 12, pages: 12540-12552
UKÄ Subject classification
Animal and Dairy Science
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