Effect of monensin on the performance and nitrogen utilization of lactating dairy cows consuming fresh forage. Academic Article uri icon


  • We conducted a lactation trial with a fresh forage diet in order to evaluate 1) the effects of monensin on nitrogen metabolism, and 2) the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS). Thirty Holstein cows in midlactation (eight fitted with ruminal fistulas) were gradually introduced to a fresh forage diet. A concentrate mix based on corn meal was fed before the a.m. and p.m. milking times 0730 and 1730 h, then the fresh forage was fed at 0830 and 1830 h. Fifteen cows each were allocated to a control (no monensin) and a treatment group receiving 350 mg/cow per day of monensin in the p.m. concentrate feeding. A 7-d fecal and urine collection period and a 3-d rumen sampling period were conducted with the fistulated cows. After the lactation study was concluded, the fistulated cows were fed forage regrowth and a 3-d rumen sampling period was repeated. Monensin increased milk production by 1.85 kg. Milk fat and protein concentrations decreased and milk fat and protein yields increased, but the effects were nonsignificant. Monensin did not significantly affect DMI. Ruminal ammonia and the acetate-to-propionate ratio decreased with the addition of monensin in both fed forages. Monensin decreased fecal N output, and increased apparent N digestibility by 5.4%. Because of the decrease in ruminal ammonia and increase in apparent N digestibility, we concluded monensin was sparing amino acids from wasteful rumen degradation with a fresh forage diet. The precision of the CNCPS in predicting performance was high (r2 = 0.76), and the bias was low (overprediction of 3.6%). These results indicate that the CNCPS can be used for dairy cows consuming fresh forage and gives realistic predictions of performance.

published proceedings

  • J Dairy Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Ruiz, R., Albrecht, G. L., Tedeschi, L. O., Jarvis, G., Russell, J. B., & Fox, D. G.

citation count

  • 77

complete list of authors

  • Ruiz, R||Albrecht, GL||Tedeschi, LO||Jarvis, G||Russell, JB||Fox, DG

publication date

  • July 2001