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Title: Daily alternation of the dietary starch level in Holstein dairy cows
Authors: Hernández Castellano, Lorenzo Enrique 
Santos, L. P.
Weisbjerg, M. R.
Larsen, M.
UNESCO Clasification: 3104 Producción Animal
Keywords: Rumen
Issue Date: 2021
Journal: Journal of Dairy Science 
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of controlled daily alternations in dietary starch level on changes in rumen environment, blood, urine, and milk metabolites of dairy cows. Six multiparous mid-lactation Holstein cows were used in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design with 14-d periods and 3 alternating levels of dietary starch as treatments. Each 14-d period consisted of a 7-d baseline period and 7-d alternating period where diets alternated day to day. During the baseline period, all cows were fed a control diet containing 21% starch (dry matter basis). During the alternating period, the control diet was replaced with 1 of the 3 experimental diets on d 8, 10, 12, and 14. The 3 experimental diets contained 28% (low), 35% (medium), and 42% (high) starch (dry matter basis). At d 7 (baseline), 8 (ALT1), and 14 (ALT4) of each period, rumen fluid, blood, urine, and quarter milk (i.e., back right quarter) samples were collected at −0.5, 1, 2.5, 4, 5.5, and 7 h relative to morning feeding (0800 h). No differences were observed in dry matter intake, milk yield, and milk chemical composition. Rumen medial pH was lower in the high alternation level compared with the low or medium alternation levels at ALT1 but did not differ among starch alternation levels at ALT4. Similarly, the difference between rumen pH in medial and ventral contents was reduced at ALT1 with high alternation level but was not affected at ALT4. Total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations were higher in the rumen medial fluid of the high alternation level at 7 h relative to morning feeding compared with those from the low and medium alternation levels. Similarly, total VFA concentrations constantly increased and were the highest in the ventral rumen fluid at 7 h relative to morning feeding, although no differences were detected among starch alternation levels. In both rumen medial and ventral fluids, the high alternation level showed higher propionate and lower acetate proportions compared with low and medium alternation levels. No differences in blood pH were detected among starch alternation levels. However, glucose concentrations tended to be higher in cows from the high alternation level. L-Lactate concentrations in blood were higher in ALT1 than in ALT4 but were not affected by the starch alternation level. In urine, no differences in pH or L-lactate concentrations were detected among alternation levels (i.e., low, medium, and high). Similarly, no differences in milk pH were detected among alternation levels. According to these results, it seems that the daily dietary starch alternation from 21% up to 42% (dry matter basis) is able to affect the ruminal fluid, especially during the first alternation. However, these changes in rumen fluid did not cause any effect on the variables measured in blood, urine, or milk. This study indicates that cows can cope with day-to-day alternations in type of rumen fermentable organic matter; however, longer-term effects on performance and health should be addressed in future studies.
ISSN: 0022-0302
DOI: 10.3168/jds.2020-19989
Source: Journal Of Dairy Science[ISSN 0022-0302],v. 104 (9), p. 9735-9751, (Septiembre 2021)
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