Evaluation of Feeding a Fibrolytic Enzyme to Lactating Dairy Cows on Their Lactational Performance during Early Lactation

  • Titi, H.H. (Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture/University of Jordan)
  • Received : 2002.09.26
  • Accepted : 2003.01.28
  • Published : 2003.05.01


Twenty eight multiparous lactating cows were utilized in an experiment to evaluate the response to an exogenous fibrolytic enzyme on their lactational performance during early lactation period (in terms of milk production, milk composition, feed intake, milking efficiency, body weight change) and the exact time of this response. Cows were randomized into two groups (14 each) with similar parities and were fed a concentrate ration of barley, ground corn, soybean meal, and wheat bran and roughage ration of alfalfa hay. One of the two groups was supplemented with the fibrolytic enzyme immediately after parturition up to 100 post partum. The experiment was of two phases with 50 days each. The enzyme, which has a cellulase/hemicellulase activity (derived from Trichoderma group), was added to the concentrate part of the ration in a dry powder form. Milk production, 3.5% fat corrected milk, energy corrected milk were higher (p<0.05) for cows fed treated diet. At the same time, No differences were observed in percentages of milk components, feed intake, body weight, body weight change, or rectal temperature for the whole experimental period or during any of the two phases. Efficiency of milk production was higher (p<0.05) for treatment group cows than for that of the control ones. However, efficiency was better during the second phase than during the first phase. Feeding enzyme treated diets to dairy cows improved lactational performance during early 100 day of the lactation period. However, the first 50 days of lactation looked to be the critical.


  1. Georing, H. K., and P. J. Van Soest. 1970. Forage fiber analysis. Agriculture handbook No. 379. Agr. Res. Serv., USDA, Washington, DC.
  2. Rode, L. M., W. Z. Yang and K. A. Beauchemin. 1999. Fibrolytic enzyme supplements for dairy cows in early lactation. J. Dairy Sci. 82:2121-2126.
  3. SAS/STAT User's Guide. 1998. Version 7.0, 4th ed. SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC, USA.
  4. Yang, W. Z., K. A. Beauchemin and L. M. Rode. 1999. Effects of an enzyme feed additive on extent of digestion and milk production of lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 82:391-403.
  5. Yang, W. Z., K. A. Beauchemin and L. M. Rode. 2000. A comparison of methods of adding fibrolytic enzymes to lactating cow diets. J. Dairy Sci. 83:2512-2520.
  6. Zheng, W., D. J. Schingoethe, G. A. Stegeman, A. R. Hippen and R. J. Treachert. 2000. Determination of when during the lactation cycle to start feeding a cellulase and xylanase enzyme mixture to dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 83:2319-2325.
  7. Beauchemin, K. A., W. Z. Yang and L. M. Rode. 1999b. Effects of grain source and enzyme additive on site and extent of nutrient digestion in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 82:378-390.
  8. Kung, Jr. L., R. J. Treacher, G. A. Nauman, A. M. Smagala, K. M. Endres and M. A. Cohen. 2000. The effect of treating forages with fibrolytic enzymes on its nutritive value and lactation performance of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 83:115-122.
  9. Lewis, G. E. C. W. Hunt, W. K. Sanchez, R. Treacher, G. T. Pritchard and P. Feng. 1996. Effect of direct fed fibrolytic enzymes on digestive characteristics of a forage based diet fed to beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 74:3020-3028.
  10. Beauchemin, K. A., S. D. Jones, L. M. Rode and V. J. Sewalt. 1997. Effects of fibrolytic enzymes in corn or barley diets on performance and carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 77:645-653.
  11. Beauchemin, K. A., L. M. Rode and D. Karren. 1999a. Use of feed enzymes in feedlot finishing diets. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 79:243-246.
  12. Beauchemin, K. A., L. M. Rode, M. Maekawa, D. P. Morgavi and R. Kampent. 2000. Evaluation of a nonstarch polysaccharidase feed enzyme in dairy cow diets. J. Dairy Sci. 83:543-553.
  13. Feng, P., C. W. Hunt, G. T. Pritchard, and W. E. Julien. 1996. Effect of enzyme preparations and in vitro degradation and in vitro digestive characteristics of mature cool-season grass forage in beef steers. J. Anim. Sci. 74:1349-1357.
  14. Association of official analytical chemists. 1984. Official methods of analysis, 13th ed. AOAC, Washington, DC.
  15. Beauchemin, K. A., L. M. Rode and V. J. Sewalt. 1995. Fibrolytic enzymes increase fiber digestibility and growth rate of steers fed dry forages. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 75:641-644.
  16. Hristov, A. N., T. A. McAllister and K. Cheng. 1998. Effect of dietary or abomasal supplementation of exogenous polysaccharide- degrading enzymes on rumen fermentation and nutrient digestibility. J. Anim. Sci. 76:3146-3156.
  17. Steel, G. D. R. and H. J. Torrie. 1986. Principles and Procedures of Statistics. 2nd ed., McGrow- Hill.
  18. Lewis, G.E., W. K. Sanchez, C. W. Hunt, M. A. Guy, G. T. Pritchard, B. I. Swanson and R. J. Treacher. 1999. Effect of direct-fed fibrolytic enzymes on lactational performance of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 82:611-617.
  19. National Research Council. 1989. Nutrient requirements of dairy cattle. 6th rev. ed. Natl. Acad. Sci. Washington, DC.
  20. Schingoethe, D. J., G. A. Stegeman and R. J. Treacher. 1999. Response of lactating dairy cows to a cellulase and xylanase enzyme mixture applied to forages at the time of feeding. J Dairy Sci. 82:996-1003.
  21. Richardson, G. H. 1985. Standard methods for the examination of dairy products. 15th ed, American public health association, Washington, DC.

Cited by

  1. Effect of Feed Additives on Digestibility and Milk Yield of Holstein Cows Fed Wet Brewer Grains vol.36, pp.2, 2009,
  2. Effect of exogenous fibrolytic enzymes supplementation on milk production and nutrient utilization in Murrah buffaloes vol.42, pp.7, 2010,
  3. Meta-analysis: effects of exogenous fibrolytic enzymes in ruminant diets vol.46, pp.1, 2018,