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Calcium Salts of Fatty Acids in Diets that Differ in Neutral
Detergent Fiber: Effect on Lactation Performance and
Nutrient Digestibility1

C.J. Canale,2 P.L. Burgess,3 L.D. Miller,4 and G.A. Varga4
Department of Dairy and Animal Science
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802
Researchers have successfully increased the energy density of diets for early lactation dairy cows with dietary fat (21). Dietary fat and its study the effect of adding Ca salts of fatty effect on animal performance and metabolism has been reviewed (6, 21). The use of dietary tent. Rations were fed for ad libitum in- fat may continue to increase as the genetic take to 12 early to midlactation Holstein potential for milk production is increased.
Feeding large amounts of saturated and unsatu- design with a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement rated fat, however, has detrimental effects on of treatments. No significant interactions rumen metabolism and fiber digestibility, espe- cially when intake is near, or slightly higher than, maintenance (4). The development of Ca salts of fatty acids lowered milk protein salts of fatty acids (CaFA), which are consid- percentage. Cows increased yield of milk, ered inert in the rumen, offers a method of increasing production and efficiency without salts of fatty acids. Intake of DM and NEI impairing fermentative digestion (4, 14).
increased when NDF was 25% rather than31% of the total mixed ration. Milk from An important consideration for successful and economical feeding of dietary fat is to more protein. Yields of milk, fat, protein, maximize ration fiber (i.e., forage intake). A high roughage diet stabilizes rumen fermenta- tion and helps to normalize rumen function intake to 4% FCM, however, decreased.
when dietary fat is fed (19). Furthermore, fatty acids associate with feed particles in the rumen, reducing the potential inhibition of fat to mi- 31% NDF. In this study, Ca salts of fatty crobes (13). Although research has examined the effect of feeding animal or vegetable fat in FCM, regardless of ration NDF content.
relatively high fiber (forage) diets, little re- search has been conducted to determine an decreased when diets contained 25% vs.
optimum fiber when rumen-inert fat is fed.
Currently, NDF is being utilized in formulating (Key words: calcium salts of fatty acids, rations (17). Although the ideal ration NDF has not been determined, between 25 and 32% isbeing recommended for cows in early lactation(18). Adding rumen-inert fat may enhance en-ergy intake and allow for increased use of forages in diets for lactating dairy cows. Objec- Accepted September 18, 1989.
I Authorized for publication as Paper Number 8232 in the tives of this study were to evaluate the addition Journal Series of The Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment of rumen-inert fat to diets that differed in NDF content. Milk yield and composition, nutrient 2Ruminant Nutrition Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, digestibility, and concentrations of selected 3Agricultural Canada, Amherst, Nova Scotia, B4H 3Y4. blood metabolites were measured in Holstein4Department of Dairy and Animal Science.
than diets 1 and 3 (Table 1). On a DM basis,diets 1 and 2 contained 70% alfalfa silage and Animals and Treatments
30% concentrate, and diets 3 and 4 contained50% alfalfa silage and 50% concentrate. Fat Twelve early to midlactation Holstein cows (8 multiparous and 4 primiparous) were used in Co., Inc., Princeton, NJ) was added to the three 4 x 4 Latin squares with a 2 x 2 factorial grain portion of diets 2 and 4 to total 7% ether arrangement of treatments. Animals were as- signed to the three squares as follows: square 1, alfalfa silage are shown in Tables 2 and 3, postpartum; square 2, multiparous cows ranging respectively. For chop length determination, 400 from 89 to 120 d postpartum; and square 3, g of wet alfalfa silage (representative samples rumen-cannulated, multiparous cows ranging from period 2 and 3) was dried (100°C) to a from 132 to 156 d postpartum. Treatments (per- constant weight and manually separated ac- centage of ration DM) were as follows: diet 1, cording to length. Experimental periods were 21 d, with the last 10 d used for sample and data collection. Diets were formulated to meet or NDF, and diet 4, 2.56% CaFA with 25% NDF.
As sampled, however, diets 2 and 4 contained weighing 600 kg and producing 34 kg milk/d.
only 1.2 percentage units more total fatty acid Diets were fed as total mixed rations twice TABLE 1. Ingredient composition and analysis of diets (% DM).
1Diets (% of ration DM) are as follows: 1) 0% CaFA with 31% NDF; 2) 2.56% CaFA with 31% NDF; 3) 0% CaFA with 25% NDF; and 4) 2.56% CaFA with 25% NDF.
2Vitamin ADE supplement contained the following: 6.66 x 106 units/kg vitamin A, 3.33 x 106 units/kg vitamin D, Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 73, No. 4, 1990 TABLE 2. Chemical analysis of alfalfa silage.t•2 2Percentage of total net dry weight.
10n a DM basis.
2Second cutting alfalfa.
using chromic oxide as an inert digestibility marker. During the last 10 d of periods 2 and 4,all cows received (immediately prior to fecalsampling) 10 g of chromic oxide (gelatin cap- daily (0630 and 1400 h) to allow 5 to 10% feed sule), twice daily, via a balling gun. Fecal refusals. Amounts fed and refused were re- samples were collected twice daily at 0745 and corded daily. Body weights were recorded once 1745 h. Fecal samples were obtained directly from the rectum, dried at 100°C, and ground topass a 1-mm screen. Ground samples wereashed at 600°C and prepared for Cr analysis Sample Collection
and Analysis
according to Williams et al. (28). Chromiumconcentration was determined by atomic ab- Dry matter content of feeds was determined sorption spectrophotometry (Instrumentation weekly by oven drying (100°C), and diets were Laboratory aa/ee Spectrophotometer 551, Lex- adjusted as necessary to maintain appropriate ington, MA), using a hollow cathode lamp, at forage:concentrate ratios. Samples of alfalfa si- 357.7 nm under a nitrous oxide-air acetylene lage and concentrate(s) were obtained twice flame (red cone of 20 mm). Samples of silage weekly and composited by period. Analysis for and concentrates were collected daily during fecal collection for DM, NDF, ADF, CP, and Goering and Van Soest (11). Ether extract was determined according to AOAC (1). Total fatty acid analysis was according to Sukhija and jugular venipuncture during the last day of each Palmquist (26). Crude protein was determined period at 0630 and 0930 h (0 and 3 h post- by Kjeldahl procedure (1). Mineral analysis feeding, respectively). Samples were centri- was performed at The Pennsylvania State Uni- fuged at 3000 x g for 10 min, and plasma was versity Forage Testing Laboratory (wet chemis- collected and stored at —20°C for analysis of try). Feed refusals were sampled every other metabolites. Plasma was analyzed for blood urea day during the sample collection portion of each experimental period and composited for and Marbach (5), glucose (glucose oxidase each cow. Refusal samples were dried at 100°C method, Sigma Technical Bulletin 510, Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, MO), nonesterified Milk yield was recorded daily during the last fatty acids (FFA) by an enzymatic colorimetric 10 d of each period. Cows were milked daily at assay (Wako Chemicals USA, Inc., Dallas, TX), 0530 and 1630 h. Composite p.m. to a.m. milk and triglycerides (enzymatic method, Sigma samples were collected every 3rd d during the 10- d sample collection period, proportioned ac-cording to volume, and analyzed (Foss 203B Statistical Analysis
Milko-Scan, Foss Electric, Hillerod, Denmark)for fat and protein at The Pennsylvania DHIA Central Milk Testing Laboratory. Apparent di- Latin square using the General Linear Models gestibility of ration components was estimated procedure of SAS (23). The treatment sequence Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 73, No. 4, 1990 that was selected minimized carry-over effects.
age of 1.6 kg/d, but this increase has not always Square (2 df), cow nested in square (9 df), been statistically significant (12, 16, 24, 25).
period (3 df for intake, production, and blood Yields of 3.5% FCM, fat, and protein by mid- data; 1 df for digestibility data), and treatment lactation cows was not affected by CaFA sup- (3 cif) were sources of variation. The model plementation in recent studies by Schauff and employed for all statistical analysis was the and NEI were higher (P<.01) when total mixed Y i j k l m = µ + S i + C j ( i ) + P k + T 1 (21.3 vs. 18.2 kg). This response, in part, may be related to ration DM content as well as where µ = overall mean, Si = square effect, q(1) = ration NDF content. The moisture in diets 1 effect of cow nested in square, Pk = period effect, and 2 (31% NDF) was 7 percentage units higher NDF). Ration DM content can affect feed in- error. Means were compared by linear contrasts take (18). With midlactation cows, Woodford et designed to test the following: CaFA versus no al. (29) observed no differences in total DM CaFA, 31% total ration NDF versus 25% total intake when diets contained between 21 and ration NDF, and the interaction of CaFA and 30% total ration NDF, but intake of NDF in- total ration NDF. All data are expressed as least creased linearly as percentage of forage in the diet increased. In (29), alfalfa hay was the soleforage source. As expected, cows consumed RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
more (P<.04) NDF (kg/d) in our study whendiets contained 31% NDF (Table 4).
No interactions (P>.05) were detected be- tween CaFA and ration NDF for any variable.
less (P<.03) fat (3.60 vs. 3.77%) and more Primiparous and multiparous cows responded (P<.01) protein (3.11 vs. 3.02%) in milk (Table similarly to the experimental treatments (i.e., 4). Milk fat percentage was decreased in mid- no square x treatment interactions). Effect of lactation cows with decreased forage (NDF) feeding (29). In the study by Woodford et al.
lactation performance appears in Table 4.
(29), milk protein percentage decreased when and NEI (Mcal/d) were not affected by the 27.4 or 30.1% NDF. In our study, milk protein addition of CaFA. Others have reported no percentage increased when diets contained 25 effect of rumen-inert fat on the intake of DM vs. 31% NDF. This effect may be related to increased protein intake when diets contained 25% NDF (Table 4), although protein require- ments were adequately met (18) for all cows.
(P<.01) milk protein percentage (3.10 vs.
Additionally, diets 3 and 4 contained propor- 3.03%). Adding dietary fat or CaFA to rations tionally more shelled corn and soybean meal fed to lactating dairy cows depressed milk pro- than diets 1 and 2 (Table 1). Combined with tein percentage in other studies (12, 16). The increased fermentable organic matter intake, in- reason for decreased milk protein percentage creased protein intake could allow for increased with added fat is poorly understood, but it may flow of amino acids to the duodenum. As a be related to decreased casein nitrogen (9, 10).
result, an improved pattern of amino acids Regardless of amount of NDF in the ration, available for milk protein synthesis may have cows increased (P<.04) yield of milk (29.8 vs.
existed when diets contained 25 vs. 31% NDF.
28.7 kg), fat (1.15 vs. 1.05 kg), and 4% FCM Yields of milk (31.0 vs. 27.5 kg), fat (1.15 vs.
(28.5 vs. 27.1 kg) when they were fed CaFA 1.05 kg), protein (.97 vs. .83 kg), and 70% (Table 4). Conversion of DM intake to 4% FCM FCM (29.1 vs. 26.5 kg) were higher when diets also increased (P<.01) when cows were fed contained 25% NDF than when they contained CaFA (1.50 vs. 1.40). In other studies, rumen- 31% NDF (Table 4). Efficiency of DM utiliza- Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 73, No. 4, 1990 TABLE 4. Effect of calcium salts of fatty acids (CaFA) and ration NDF content on dry matter intake and lactationperformance.
contrast2 (P<)
'Diets (% of ration DM) are as follows: 1) 0% CaFA with 31% NDF, 2) 2.56% CaFA with 31% NDF; 3) 0% CaFA with 25% NDF; and 4) 2.56% CaFA with 25% NDF.
2No significant (P>.05) CaFA x NDF interactions.
3Calculated from NRC (18).
creased as dietary NDF decreased. Milk pro- strated to affect ruminal disappearance of DM or NDF (12, 24) or total tract digestibility of different when alfalfa silage or corn silage diets DM, protein, NDF, or ADF (12, 14, 24). Cal- contained 32% NDF (7). Briceno et al. (3) cium salts of fatty acids have increased the suggested that NDF has a greater impact on apparent digestibility of total lipid in other DM intake than on milk yield. Mertens (17) studies when compared with digestibility of evaluated four concentrations of total ration control rations (12, 14). The improved digest- NDF (35 to 55%) and reported a curvilinear ibility of total lipid suggests that added fat is response in DM intake, milk yield, and 4% perhaps more digestible than the lipid fraction of an unsupplemented diet. Grummer (12) hy- when rations contained 35% NDF. Others have pothesized that supplemental fat dilutes endog- reported no relationship between total diet NDF enous lipid secretions, resulting in a more accu- and milk yield (3, 29). In the present study, CaFA and ration NDF had no effect on mean Researchers have observed a depression in fiber digestibility when feeding rumen-unprotected The effect of Ca salts of fatty acids and ration sources of fat (4). The inhibitory effect of lipids NDF on nutrient digestibility is shown in Table on fiber digestibility is reduced when intake is 5. Apparent digestibilities of DM, CP, NDF, or near or greater than three times maintenance ADF were not affected by the addition of CaFA.
(27), perhaps due to an increased passage rate.
(P<.04) when diets contained 25% NDF rather supplementation. Calcium salts of fatty acids than 31% NDF (Table 5). Total ration NDF did (.58 to .68 kg/cow per d) have not been demon not influence the apparent digestibility of CP, Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 73, No. 4, 1990 TABLE 5. Effect of calcium salts of fatty acids (CaFA) and ration NDF content on digestibility of ration components.
contrast2 (P<)
'Diets (% of ration DM) are as follows: 1) 0% CaFA with 31% NDF, 2) 236% CaFA with 31% NDF; 3) 0% CaFA with 25% NDF; and 4) 2.56% CaFA with 25% NDF.
2No significant (P>.05) CaFA x NDF interactions.
fat, NDF, and ADF. Apparent digestibility of centration with rumen-inert (2, 25) and rumen- unprotected (20) fats. Although ration NDF did not influence triglycerides, cows fed the high NDF in a study by Woodford et al. (29). De- fiber diet (31% NDF) tended to have higher laney et al. (8) reported that the digestibility of (P<.08) concentrations of FFA (163.1 vs. 147.5 DM by early lactation cows tended to decrease Req/L) in plasma. Cows consumed less energy as dietary NDF (32, 34, and 36%) increased.
when diets contained 31% NDF, perhaps the When sheep were fed alfalfa leaves, leaves plus result of increased mobilization of FFA from stems, and stems, increased dietary cell wall content was related to decreased digestibilitiesof DM, energy, and NDF (22).
Concentrations of glucose and BUN were not affected by CaFA or ration NDF (Table 6).
Responses of early lactation cows to CaFA Plasma triglyceride (35.7 vs. 30.7 mg/l00 mg) were consistent with results from other studies.
and FFA (164.4 vs. 146.1 p.eq/L) concentration Feeding CaFA resulted in increased yield of increased (P<.04) as a result of CaFA supple- mentation. The effect of feeding rumen-pro- protein percentage. Efficiency of feed utilization tected fat on plasma glucose concentration is also increased when CaFA were fed. The two variable (2, 15, 25). Others have shown an increase in plasma triglyceride and FFA con influence on the response of cows to CaFA, TABLE 6. Effect of calcium salts of fatty acids (CaFA) and ration NDF content on concentration of plasma metabolites.
contrast2 (P<)
1Diets (percentage of ration DM) are as follows: 1) 0% CaFA with 31% NDF; 2) 2.56% CaFA with 31% NDF; 3) 0% CaFA with 25% NDF; and 4) 2.56% CaFA with 25% NDF.
2No significant (P>.05) CaFA x NDF interactions.
3Blood urea nitrogen.
4Nonesterified fatty acids.
Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 73, No. 4, 1990 suggesting that CaFA can be added to high 8 Delaney, C. L., L. E. Chase, and P. J. Van Soest. 1986.
forage diets and that production can be main- Influence of NDF level on milk production, feed intake, tained. Although feed intake and milk production digestibility and rate of passage in early lactation dairycows. J. Dairy Sci. 69(Suppl. 1):240. (Abstr.) 9 DePeters, E. J., S. J. Taylor, A. A. Franke, and A.
Aguirre. 1985. Effects of feeding whole cottonseed on composition of milk. J. Dairy Sci. 68:897.
Mertens (17) indicated that the optimum daily 10 Dunkley, W. L., N. E. Smith, and A. A. Franke. 1977.
intake of NDF for dairy cows is 1.1% of BW.
Effects of feeding protected tallow on composition ofmilk and milk fat. J. Dairy Sci.60:1863.
Mertens' system is designed to maximize the 11 Goering, H. K., and P. J. Van Soest. 1970. Forage fiber forge content of dairy rations formulated to meet, analysis. Agric. Handbook No. 379. US Dep. Agric., not exceed, energy requirements. In the present 12 Grummer, R. R. 1988. Influence of prilled fat and calcium approximately .9% of BW (Table 4). Energy salts of palm oil fatty acids on nuninal fermentation and requirements (18) were theoretically met when nutrient digestibility. J. Dairy Sci. 71:117.
13 Harfoot, C. G., M. L. Crouchman, R. G. Noble, and J.
H. Moore. 1974. Competition between food particles and exceeded when diets contained 25% NDF. The rumen bacteria in the uptake of long-chain fatty acids and relationship between dietary NDF and energy triglycerides. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 37:633.
intake (NEI) needs to be addressed. In this short- 14 Jenkins, T. C. and D. L. Palmquist. 1984. Effect of fatty term experiment, yields of milk and 4% FCM acids or calcium soaps on rumen and total nutrient digestibility of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 67:978.
15 Kronfeld, D. S., S. Donoghue, J. M. Naylor, K. Johnson, and C. A. Bradley. 1980. Metabolic effects of feedingprotected tallow to dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 63:545.
16 MacLeod, G. K., Y. Yu, and L. R. Schaeffer. 1977.
Feeding value of protected animal tallow for high The authors acknowledge Church & Dwight yielding dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 60:726.
Co., Inc., Princeton, NJ. and Agway Inc., Syra- 17 Mertens, D. R. 1983. Using neutral detergent fiber to cuse, NY for partial support of this research.
formulate dairy rations and estimate the energy contentof forages. Page 60 in Proc. Cornell Nutr. Conf. Feed The authors also thank June Corl for animal 18 National Research Council. 1989. Nutrient requirements of dairy cattle. 6th ed. Natl. Acad. Sci., Washington, DC.
19 Palmquist, D. L. 1983. Use of fats in diets for lactating dairy cows. Proc. 37th Easter School in Agriculture: fats 1 Association of Official Analytical Chemists. 1965. Offi- and animal nutrition. J. Wiseman, ed. Nottingham, Engl.
cial methods of analysis. 10th ed. Assoc. Offic. Anal.
20 Palmquist, D. L., and H. R. Conrad. 1978. High fat rations for dairy cows. Effects on feed intake, milk and 2 Bines, J. A., P. E. Brumby, J. E. Stony, R. J. Fulford, fat production, and plasma metabolites. J. Dairy Sci. 61: and G. D. Braithwaite. 1978. The effect of protected lipids on nutrient intakes, blood and rumen metabolites 21 Palmquist, D. L., and T. C. Jenkins. 1980. Fat in and milk secretion in dairy cows during early lactation.
lactation rations: review. J. Dairy Sci. 63:1.
22 Robles, A. Y., R. L. Belyea, and F. A. Martz. 1981. Intake, 3 Briceno, J. V., H. H. Van Horn, B. Harris, Jr., and C. J.
digestibility, ruminal characteristics and rate of passage of Wilcox. 1987. Effects of neutral detergent fiber and alfalfa diets fed to sheep. J. Anim. Sci. 53:774.
roughage source on dry matter intake and milk yield 23 SAS Users Guide. 1985. SAS Inst., Cary, NC.
and composition of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 70:298.
24 Schauff, D. J., and J. H. Clark. 1989. Effects of prilled 4 Chalupa, W., B. Vecchiarelli, A. E. Elser, D. S. Kronfeld, fatty acids and calcium salts of fatty acids on rumen D. Sklan, and D. L. Palmquist. 1986. Ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibilities, milk production, fermentation in vivo as influenced by long-chain fatty and milk composition. J. Dairy Sci. 72:917.
25 Smith, N. E., W. L. Dunkley, and A. A. Franke. 1978.
5 Chaney, A. L., and E. P. Marbach. 1962. Modified reagents for determination of urea and ammonia. J.
Effects of feeding protected tallow to dairy cows in early lactation. J. Dairy Sci. 61:747.
6 Clapperton, J. L., and W. Steele. 1983. Fat supplementa- 26 Suldiija, P. S., and D. L. Palmquist. 1988. Rapid tion in animal production ruminants. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 42: method for determination of total fatty acid content and composition of feedstuffs and feces. J. Agric. Food 7 Colenbrander, V. F., D. L. Hill, M. L. Eastridge, and D.
R. Mertens. 1986. Formulating dairy rations with 27 van der Honing, Y., S. Tamminga, B. J. Wieman, A.
neutral detergent fiber. 1. Effect of silage source. J.
Steg., B. van Donsellar, and L.G.M. van Gils. 1983.
Further studies on the effect of fat supplementation of Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 73, No. 4, 1990 CANALE ET AL.
concentrates fed to lactating dairy cows. 2. Total diges-
1986. Impact of dietary fiber and physical form on
tion and energy utilization. Neth. J. Agric. Sci. 31:27.
performance of lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 69:
28 Williams, C. H., D. J. David, and 0. Iismaa. 1%2. The
determination of chromic oxide in feces samples by
30 Wrenn, T. R., J. Bitman, R. A. Waterman, J. R. Weyant,
atomic absorption spectrophotometry. J. Agric. Sci.
D. C. Wood, L. L. Stroniinski, and N. W. Hooven, Jr.
1978. Feeding protected and unprotected tallow to dairy
29 Woodford, J. A., N. A. Jorgensen, and G. P. Barrington.
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Journal of Dairy Science Vol. 73, No. 4, 1990



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