Nitrogen balance and milk composition of dairy cows fed urea and soybean meal and two protein levels using sugar cane based diets
Keywords:Blood parameter, Dairy cows, Microbial protein synthesis, Soybean meal, Urea
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of feeding two levels of crude protein (CP) (low: 142 g CP/kg DM; and high: 156 g CP/kg DM) and two nitrogen sources (soybean meal and urea) to dairy cows using sugar cane as forage on microbial protein synthesis, the composition of the milk nitrogen fraction, nitrogen (N) balance and blood parameters. Twelve Holstein cows with an average milk yield of 22.0 ± 2.3 kg/day, and with 235 ± 40 days in milk were included in this study. The animals were grouped into three balanced and contemporary 4x4 Latin squares for an experimental period of 21 days. On the 15th day of each period, milk and urine samples were collected for microbial protein synthesis determination. Total excretion of urine (L/day), milk urea nitrogen (MUN) and blood urea were higher for the diets with high CP, regardless of the nitrogen source. Nitrogen efficiency was higher for cows fed diets with low CP. Cows in the final third of lactation can be fed diets with reduced CP levels, regardless of the nitrogen source, soybean meal or urea, without influencing the synthesis of microbial protein or the composition of the nitrogen fraction of milk.
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