Lowering rumen-degradable and rumen-undegradable protein improved amino acid metabolism and energy utilization in lactating dairy cows exposed to heat stress.
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of reducing dietary rumen-degradable protein (RDP) and rumen-undegradable protein (RUP) on protein and energy metabolism in heat-stressed dairy cows. Eighteen primiparous and 30 multiparous mid-lactation Holstein cows were used in a completely randomized design arranged in a 2 2 factorial (n = 12/treatment). Cows were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 dietary treatments that included 2 levels of RDP (10 and 8%; D) and 2 levels of RUP (8 and 6%; U) of dry matter for 21 d as (1) 10D:8U, (2) 8D:8U, (3) 10D:6U, and (4) 8D:6U. Diets were isoenergetic and contained 50% forage and 50% concentrate (dry matter basis). Cows were housed in a freestall barn. Three weeks before start of treatments, all animals were fed the 10D:8U diet and received supplemental cooling to prevent heat stress. During the treatment period, cows experienced a daily increment in temperature-humidity index from 74 to 82 for 1000 to 2000 h. Blood samples were collected on d -1 and 21 of the treatment period to determine plasma concentrations of AA, glucose, insulin, fatty acids, and -hydroxybutyrate. For primiparous cows, reducing from 10 to 8% RDP decreased insulin concentrations. For multiparous cows, we found significant RDP by RUP interactions for insulin, -hydroxybutyrate, fatty acids, total essential AA, and 3-methylhistidine concentrations. Reducing from 10 to 8% RDP decreased insulin concentrations at 6% RUP, but concentrations did not change when reducing RDP at 8% RUP. Reducing from 10 to 8% RDP decreased -hydroxybutyrate concentrations at 8% RUP, but concentrations did not change when reducing RDP at 6% RUP. Reducing from 10 to 8% RDP increased nonesterified fatty acid and total essential AA concentrations at 8% RUP, but concentrations did not change when reducing RDP at 6% RUP. Reducing from 8 to 6% RUP decreased 3-methylhistidine concentration at 8% RDP, but not at 10% RDP. Reducing from 8 to 6% RUP increased milk protein yield efficiency in primiparous and multiparous cows. These results indicate that reducing RDP and RUP lowers circulating insulin, which was associated with mobilization and utilization of fatty acids. Reduced RDP and RUP increases the use of AA to maintain milk protein synthesis and limit AA catabolism in cows exposed to warm climates.
author list (cited authors)
Kaufman, J. D., Pohler, K. G., Mulliniks, J. T., & Rus, A. G.