Effect of Synchronizing Starch Sources and Protein (NPN) in the Rumen on Feed Intake, Rumen Microbial Fermentation, Nutrient Utilization and Performance of Lactating Dairy Cows

  • Chanjula, P. (Department of Technology and Industried, Faculty of Science and Technology Prince of Songkla University) ;
  • Wanapat, M. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wachirapakorn, C. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Rowlinson, P. (Department of Agriculture, University)
  • Received : 2003.09.23
  • Accepted : 2004.05.27
  • Published : 2004.10.01


Eight crossbred (75% Holstein Friesian) cows in mid-lactation were randomly assigned to a switchback design with a 2x2 factorial arrangement to evaluate two nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) sources (corn meal and cassava chips) with different rumen degradability and used at two levels of NSC (55 vs. 75%) with protein source (supplied by urea in the concentrate mix). The treatments were 1) Low degradable low level of corn (55%) 2) Low degradable high level of corn (75%) 3) High degradable low level of cassava (55%) and 4) High degradable high level of cassava (75%). The cows were offered the treatment concentrate at a ratio to milk yield at 1:2. Urea-treated rice straw was offered ad libitum as the roughage and supplement with 1 kg/hd/d cassava hay. The results revealed that total DM intake, BW and digestion coefficients of DM were not affected by either level or source of energy. Rumen fermentation parameters; NH3-N, blood urea nitrogen and milk urea nitrogen were unaffected by source of energy, but were dramatically increased by level of NSC. Rumen microorganism populations were not affected (p>0.05) by source of energy, but fungal zoospores were greater for cassava-based concentrate than corn-based concentrate. Milk production and milk composition were not affected significantly by diets containing either source or level of NSC, however concentrate than corn-based concentrate averaging (4.4 and 4.2, respectively). Likewise, income over feed, as estimated from 3.5% FCM, was higher on cassava-based concentrate than corn-based concentrate averaging (54.0 and 51.4 US$/mo, respectively). These results indicate that feeding diets containing either cassava-based diets and/or a higher of oncentrates up to 75% of DM with NPN (supplied by urea up to 4.5% of DM) can be used in dairy rations without altering rumen ecology or animal performance compared with corn-based concentrate.


  1. AOAC, 1990. Official methods of analyses, 15th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Arlington, VA.
  2. Agricultural and Food Research Council.1992. Technical Committee on Response to Nutrients No 9. Nutrients requirements of ruminant animal: Protein. Nutrition Abstracts and Review (Series B). 62:787-818.
  3. Aldrich, J. M., L. D. Muller and G. A. Varga. 1983. Nonstructural carbohydrate and protein effects on rumen fermentation, nutrient flow, and performance of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 76:1091-1105.
  4. Brigstocke, T. D. A., N. H. Cuthbert, W. S. Thickett, M. A. Lindeman and P. N. Wilson. 1981. A comparison of a dairy cows compound feed with and with out a cassava given with grass silage. Anim. Prod. 33:19-24.
  5. Burns, R. E. 1971. Method for estimation of tannin in grain sorghum. Agronomy J. 63:511-512.
  6. Butler, W. R., J. J. Calaman and S. W. Beam. 1996. Plasma and milk urea nitrogen in rational to pregnancy rate in lactating dairy cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 74:858-865.
  7. Butler, W. R. and R. D. Smith. 1989. Interrelationship between energy balance on postpartum reproductive function in dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 72:767-783.
  8. Carroll, D. J., B. A. Barton, G. W. Anderson and R. D. Smith. 1988. Influence of protein intake and feeding strategy on reproductive performance of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 71:3470-3481.
  9. Casper, D. P., H. A. Maiga, M. J. Brouk and D. J. Schingoethe. 1999. Synchronization of carbohydrate and protein sources on fermentation and passage rate in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 82:1779-1790.
  10. Clark, J. H. and C. L. Davis. 1980. Some aspects of feeding high producing dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 63:873-885.
  11. Clark, J. H., T. H. Klusmeyer and M. A. Cameron. 1992. Microbial protein synthesis and flow of nitrogen fractions to the duodenum of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 75:2304-2323.
  12. Chanjula, P., M. Wanapat, C. Wachirapakorn, S. Uriyapongson and . Rowlinson. 2003. Ruminal degradability of tropical feeds and their potential use in ruminant diets. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:211-216.
  13. Church, D. C. and A. Santos. 1981. Effect of graded levels of soybean meal and of a nonprotein nitrogen-molasses supplement on consumption and digestibility of wheat straw. J. Anim Sci. 53:1609-1615.
  14. Crocker, C. L. 1967. Rapid determination of urea nitrogen in serum or plasma without deproteinzation. Am. J. Medical Techn. 33:361-365.
  15. DelCurto, T., R. C. Cochran, D. L. Harmon, A. A. Beharka, K. A. Jacques, G. Towne and E. S. Vanzant. 1990b. Supplementation of dormant tallgrass-prairie forage: I. Influence of supplemental protein and (or) energy levels on forage utilization characteristics of beef steers in confinement. J. Anim. Sci. 68:515-531.
  16. Demeyer, D. I. 1981. Rumen microbes and digestion of plant cell walla. Agri. Env. 6:295-207.
  17. Dewhurst, R. J., A. J. F. Webster, F. W. Wainman and P. J. S. Dewey. 1986. Prediction of the true metabolizable energy concentration in forages for ruminants. Anim. Prod. 43:183-194.
  18. Eggum, B. O. 1970b. Blood urea measurement as a technique for assessing protein quality. Br. J. Nutr. 24:983-296.
  19. Fadel, J. G., P. Uden and P. H. Robinson. 1987. Effect of nitrogen and energy supplements on intake and digestion of oat straw by non-lactating dairy cows. J. Agric. Sci. (Camb.). 109:503-517.
  20. Ferguson, J. D., D. T. Galligan, T. Blanchard and M. Reeves. 1993. Serum urea nitrogen and conception rate: the usefulness of test information. J. Dairy Sci. 76:3742-3746.
  21. Galyean, M. 1989. Laboratory Procedure in Animal Nutrition Research. Department of Animal and Life Science. New Mexico state University, U.S.A
  22. Grant, R. J. 1994. Influence of corn and sorghum starch on the invitro kinetics of forage fiber digestion J. Dairy Sci. 77:1563-1569.
  23. Goering, H. K. and P. J. Van Soest. 1970. Forage fiber analysis. In: Agriculture Research Service. Agricultural Handbook No. 379. US Department of Agriculture, USA.
  24. Grings, E. E., R. E. Roffler and D. P. Deitelhoff. 1992. Evaluation of corn and barley as energy sources for in early lactation fed alfalfa-based diets. J. Dairy Sci. 75:193-200.
  25. Hong, N. T. T., M. Wanapat, C. Wachirapakorn, P. Pakdee and P. Rowlinson. 2003. Effects of timing of initial cutting and subsequent cutting on yields and chemical compositions of cassava hay and its supplementation on lactating dairy cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:1763-1769.
  26. Hoover, W. H. 1986. Chemical factors involved in ruminal fiber digestion. J. Dairy Sci. 69:2755-2766.
  27. Huber, J. T. and L. Jr. Kung. 1981. Protein and nonprotein utilization in dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 64:1170-1186.
  28. Hungate, R. E. 1969. A roll tube method for cultivation of strict anaerobes. In: Methods in Microbiology, edited by Norris (Ed. J. R. and D. W. Ribbons), New York. Academic. 313:117.
  29. Jouaney, J. P. and K. Ushida. 1999. The role of protozoa in feed digestion. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 12:113-126.
  30. Kanjanapruthipong, J., N. Bautoug, U. Kanto, S. Juttupornpong and W. Chaw-uthai. 2001. Cassava chips and ground corn as sources of total non-fiber carbohydrate in total mixed ration for dairy cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 14:206-210.
  31. Kearl, L. C. 1982. Nutrient Requirements of Ruminants in Developing Countries. Logan: International Feedstuffs Institute. Utah State University, Utah.
  32. Kung, L. Jr. and J. T. Huber. 1983. Performance of high producing cows in early lactation fed protein of varying amounts, sources, and degradability. J. Dairy Sci. 66:227-234.
  33. Lebzien, P. and F. P. Engling. 1995. On the influence of 2 rations of grass-silage and concentrate mixtures with different sources of carbohydrates on rumen fermentation and nutrient digestibility in dairy cows. J. Anim. Physiology and Anim. Nutrition-Zeitschrift Fur Tierphysiologie Tierernahrung Und Futtermittelkunde. 74:208-218.
  34. Lewis, D. 1975. Blood urea concentration in relation to protein utilization in the ruminant. J. Agric. Sci. (Camb.) 48:438-446.
  35. MaCarthy, R. D., Jr. T. H. Klusmeyer, J. L. Vicini, J. H. Clark and D. R. Nelson. 1989. Effects of sources of protein and carbohydrate on ruminal fermentation and passage of nutrients to the small intestine of lactating cows. J. Dairy Sci. 72:2002-2016.
  36. MacGregor, C. A., M. R. Stokes, W. H. Hoover, H. A. Leonard, L. L. Junkins, C. J. Sniffen and R. W. Mailman. 1983. Effect of dietary concentration of total nonstructural carbohydrate on energy and nitrogen metabolism and milk production of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 66:39-55.
  37. McAllister, T. A., R. C. Phillippe, L. M. Rode and K. L. Cheng. 1993. Effect of the protein matrix on the digestion of cereal grains by ruminal microorganisms. J. Anim. Sci. 71:205-212.
  38. McSweeney, C. S., B. Palmer and D. O. Krause. 2000. Rumen microbial ecology and physiology in sheep and goats fed a tannin-containing diet. In: Proc International Workshop on Tannins in Livestock and Human Nutrition (Ed. J. D. Brooker), ACIAR Proceedings No. 92. 171.
  39. National Research Council. 1989. Nutritional Requirements of dairy cattle. 6th rev. ed. Natl. Acad. Sci. Washington, DC.
  40. Nocek, J. E. and J. B. Russell. 1988. Protein and energy as an integrated system, Relationship of ruminal protein and carbohydrate availability to microbial synthesis and milk production. J. Dairy Sci. 71:2070-2107.
  41. Orskov, E. R. 1986. Starch digestion and utilization in ruminants. J. Anim. Sci. 63:1624-1633.
  42. Perdok, H. B. and R. A. Leng. 1990. Effect of supplementation with protein meal on the growth of cattle given a basal diet of untreated or ammoniated rice straw. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 3:269-279.
  43. Preston, T. R. and R. A. Leng. 1987. Matching Ruminant Production Systems with Available Resources in the Tropic and Sub-tropics. Penambull Book Armidale, Australia. p. 245.
  44. Preston, R. L., D. D. Schnakanberg and W. H. Pfander. 1965. Protein utilization in ruminants. Ι. Blood urea nitrogen as affected by protein intake. J. Nutr. 86:281-287.
  45. Ravindran, V. 1993. Cassava leaves as animal feed: Potential and limitation. J. Sci. Food Agric. 61:141-150.
  46. Reed, J. D. 1995. Nutritional toxicology of tannins and related prolyphenols in forage legumes. J. Anim. Sci. 73:1516-1528.
  47. Roseler, O. K., J. D. Ferguson, C. J. Sniffen and J. Herrema. 1993. Dietary protein degradability effects on plasma and milk urea nitrogen and milk nonprotein nitrogen in Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci. 76:525-534.
  48. Russell, J. R. and R. B. Hespell. 1981. Microbial rumen fermentation. J. Dairy Sci. 64:1153-1169.
  49. Sniffen, C. J. and P. H. Robinson. 1987. Symposium: Protein and fiber digestion, passage, and utilization in lactating cows. J. Dairy Sci. 70:425-441.
  50. Sommart, K., M. Wanapat, P. Rowlinson, D. S. Parker, P. Climee and S. Panishying. 2000. The use of cassava chips as an energy source for lactating dairy cows fed with rice straw. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:1094-1101.
  51. Stokes, S. R., W. H. Hoover, T. K. Miller and R. Blauweikel. 1991. Ruminal digestion and microbial utilization of diets varying in type of carbohydrates and protein. J. Dairy Sci. 74:871-881.
  52. SAS. 1990. SAS User,s Guide: Statistics Version, 6.06 Edition. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
  53. Steel, R. G. D. and J. H. Torrie. 1980. Principles and Procedures of Statistics: A Biometerial Approach. (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill, New York, U.S.A.
  54. Tyrrell, H. F. and J. T. Reid. 1965. Prediction of the energy value of cow’s milk. J. Dairy Sci. 48:1215-1223.
  55. Van Keulen, J. and B. A. Young. 1977. Evaluation of acid insoluble ash as a neutral marker in ruminant digestibility studies. J. Anim. Sci. 44:282-287.
  56. Van Soest, P. J. 1994. Nutritional Ecology of the Ruminant, second ed. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
  57. Wanapat, M. 1990. Nutritional Aspects of Ruminant Production in Southeast Asia with Special Reference to Thailand. Funny Press, Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand.
  58. Wanapat, M. 2003. Manipulation of cassava cultivation and utilization to improve protein to energy biomass for livestock feeding in the tropics. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:463-472.
  59. Wanapat, M. and O. Pimpa. 1999. Effect of ruminal NH3-N levels on ruminal fermentation, purine derivatives, digestibility and rice straw intake in swamp buffaloes. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 12:904-907.
  60. Wanapat, M., A. Petlum and O. Pimpa. 2000a. Supplementation of cassava hay to replace concentrate use in lactating Holstein Friesian crossbreds. Asian-Aust. J. Aim. Sci. 13:600-604.
  61. Wanapat, M., T. Puramongkon and W. Siphuak. 2000b. Feeding of cassava hay for lactation dairy cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 13:478-482.
  62. Wang, Y., G. C. Waghorn, T. N. Barry and I. D. Shelton. 1994. The effect of condensed tannins in Lotus corniculatus upon plasma metabolism of methionine, cysteine and inorganic sulphate by sheep. Br. J. Nutr. 72:923-935.
  63. Zinn, R. A. and E. J. DePeters. 1991. Comparative feeding value of tapioca pellets for feedlot cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 69:4726-4733.

Cited by

  1. ) to Improve Nutrients Availability of Diet with In Vitro Rumen Microbial Fermentation Test vol.33, pp.3, 2013,
  2. Effect of carbohydrate source and cottonseed meal level in the concentrate: IV. Feed intake, rumen fermentation and milk production in milking cows vol.45, pp.2, 2013,
  3. Review: Sugar beets as a substitute for grain for lactating dairy cattle vol.8, pp.1, 2017,