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Effects of forage type and extruded linseed supplementation on methane production and milk fatty acid composition of lactating dairy cows

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Version 1 2016-04-21, 16:34
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 06:09 authored by Katherine LivingstoneKatherine Livingstone, DJ Humphries, P Kirton, KE Kliem, DI Givens, CK Reynolds
Replacing dietary grass silage (GS) with maize silage (MS) and dietary fat supplements may reduce milk concentration of specific saturated fatty acids (SFA) and can reduce methane production by dairy cows. The present study investigated the effect of feeding an extruded linseed supplement on milk fatty acid (FA) composition and methane production of lactating dairy cows, and whether basal forage type, in diets formulated for similar neutral detergent fiber and starch, altered the response to the extruded linseed supplement. Four mid-lactation Holstein-Friesian cows were fed diets as total mixed rations, containing either high proportions of MS or GS, both with or without extruded linseed supplement, in a 4×4 Latin square design experiment with 28-d periods. Diets contained 500 g of forage/kg of dry matter (DM) containing MS and GS in proportions (DM basis) of either 75:25 or 25:75 for high MS or high GS diets, respectively. Extruded linseed supplement (275 g/kg ether extract, DM basis) was included in treatment diets at 50 g/kg of DM. Milk yields, DM intake, milk composition, and methane production were measured at the end of each experimental period when cows were housed in respiration chambers. Whereas DM intake was higher for the MS-based diet, forage type and extruded linseed had no significant effect on milk yield, milk fat, protein, or lactose concentration, methane production, or methane per kilogram of DM intake or milk yield. Total milk fat SFA concentrations were lower with MS compared with GS-based diets (65.4 vs. 68.4 g/100 g of FA, respectively) and with extruded linseed compared with no extruded linseed (65.2 vs. 68.6 g/100 g of FA, respectively), and these effects were additive. Concentrations of total trans FA were higher with MS compared with GS-based diets (7.0 vs. 5.4 g/100 g of FA, respectively) and when extruded linseed was fed (6.8 vs. 5. 6g/100 g of FA, respectively). Total n-3 FA were higher when extruded linseed was fed compared with no extruded linseed (1.2 vs. 0.8 g/100 g of FA, respectively), whereas total n-6 polyunsaturated FA were higher when feeding MS compared with GS (2.5 vs. 2.1 g/100 g of FA, respectively). Feeding extruded linseed and MS both provided potentially beneficial decreases in SFA concentration of milk, and no significant interactions were found between extruded linseed supplementation and forage type. However, both MS and extruded linseed increased trans FA concentration in milk fat. Neither MS nor extruded linseed had significant effects on methane production or yield, but the amounts of supplemental lipid provided by extruded linseed were relatively small.



Journal of Dairy Science






United States

Open access

  • Yes







Publication classification

C Journal article, C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, American Dairy Science Association