Formulating Diets on an Equal Forage Neutral Detergent Fiber from Various Sources of Silage for Dairy Cows in the Tropics

  • Kanjanapruthipong, J. (Department of Animal Science, Kasetsart University) ;
  • Buatong, N. (Department of Animal Science, Kasetsart University)
  • Received : 2002.05.22
  • Accepted : 2003.01.08
  • Published : 2003.05.01


An attempt was made to evaluate the effects of total mixed rations (TMR) containing 17.5% forage neutral detergent fiber (NDF) from paragrass, paragrass+cassava chips and corn silages on the performance of dairy cows in the tropics. Experimental dietary treatments contained a similar content of total NDF, total non-fiber carbohydrates, crude protein and energy. Maximum and minimum temperature humidity index during the experimental period were 79.1-80.6 and 66.8-68.6, respectively. Among silage sources, there were no differences (p>0.05) in concentrations of acetic and propionic acids and butyric acid was undetectable. Concentration of lactic acid was higher (p<0.01) in corn silage but its pH was lower (p<0.01) than in paragrass and paragrass+cassava silages. Dairy cows on TMR containing corn silage not only gained more weight (161 and 46 vs. -189 g/d) but also consumed more feed (18.47, 15.84 and 14.49 kg/d), and produced more milk (23.89, 22.03 and 20.83 kg/d), 4% fat corrected milk (25.47, 24.05 and 22.02 kg/d), solids-not-fat (1.99, 18.3 and 1.73 kg/d) and total solid (3.10, 2.85 and 2.64 kg/d) compared with those on TMR containing paragrass+cassava and paragrass silages, respectively (p<0.01). Dairy cows on TMR containing paragrass+cassava silage were better in these respects (p<0.01). These results suggest that in formulating diets on an equal NDF basis for different forage qualities, diets higher in forage quality can stimulate higher DMI for dairy cows in the tropics and thus improve productivity.


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