Effects of feeding diets based on silage from corn hybrids that differed in concentration and in vitro digestibility of neutral detergent fiber to dairy cows.J Dairy Sci. 2002 Dec; 85(12):3462-9.JD
A dual-purpose hybrid and a hybrid selected for high neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration were harvested as corn silage. The dual-purpose silage (DPCS) had 42% NDF and 35.4% in vitro (30 h) NDF digestibility and the high fiber silage (HFCS) had 49% NDF and 40.1% in vitro NDF digestibility. Two diets (dry matter basis) had 45% DPCS or HFCS and 46% corn grain-based concentrate (dietary NDF was 29 and 32%, respectively), a third diet had 33% HFCS and 58% corn-based concentrate (27% dietary NDF), and a fourth diet had 33% DPCS and 58% concentrate that contained soybean hulls (32% dietary NDF). All diets contained 9% alfalfa silage. Diets were fed to eight midlactation Holstein cows in a 4 x 4 Latin square with 28 d periods. No differences among treatments were observed for milk yield (34.1 kg/d), dry matter intake (23.7 kg/d), and yield and concentration of milk protein. Cows fed the diet with 33% HFCS tended to have lower milk fat percentage than cows fed the 45% DPCS diet. Total digestible nutrients (measured using total collection) tended to be lower for the 33% DPCS diet than for the 45% DPCS diet. In vivo digestibility of NDF tended to be lower for the 33% HFCS diet than the 45% DPCS diet, but digestibility of starch in the two diets with HFCS was higher than the 45% DPCS diet. The lack of any substantial differences in responses suggest that the HFCS was equal to the DPCS when fed at 45% of the diet dry matter (53.5% total forage). When HFCS replaced DPCS so that NDF was similar between diets, milk fat percentage was reduced and ruminal propionate was increased. Increasing dietary NDF by adding soybean hulls to a diet based on DPCS reduced digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, and protein, and resulted in lower energy balance than the 45% DPCS diet.