- Volume 4 Issue 1
Performance and production of twenty lactating Holstein cows fed diets containing either soybean meal or fish meal as the primary protein source were compared in a continuous or split feeding scheme. At 1 wk prepartum four groups of five animals were placed on each experimental diet. Animals assigned to the continuous feeding scheme were continued on these diets for 10-wk postpartum. At 4 wk postpartum, the diets for the groups assigned to switching protein sources were changed. These treatments were continued for another 6 wk. Milk production and dietary intakes were recorded daily. Milk constituents were measured every 2 d. Cows weights, rumen fluid samples and jugular blood samples were collected weekly. Data showed no effect of early lactation diet on cow performance or milk characteristics. Overall, compared to the soybean meal diet, the fish meal diet lowered the milk fat percent and increased production of milk per unit of dry matter ingested. No differences were observed for volatile fatty acid content of rumen fluid, blood mineral content, milk protein, somatic cell count, 4%-fat corrected milk, dry matter intake, or body weight.
Fish Meal;Milk Fat Depression;Milk Production