Dietary starch level and rumen-protected methionine, lysine, and histidine: Effects on milk yield, nitrogen, and energy utilization in dairy cows fed diets low in metabolizable protein.

Academic Article


  • Our objective was to investigate the interactions between starch level and rumen-protected Met, Lys, His (RP-MLH) on milk yield, plasma AA concentration, and nutrient utilization in dairy cows fed low metabolizable protein diets (mean = -119 g/d of metabolizable protein balance). Sixteen multiparous Holstein cows (138 ± 46 d in milk, 46 ± 6 kg/d in milk) were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Each period lasted 21 d with 14 d for diet adaptation and 7 d for data and sample collection. Dietary starch level varied by replacing (dry matter basis) pelleted beet pulp and soyhulls with ground corn resulting in the following treatments: (1) 20% pelleted beet pulp and 10% soyhulls (reduced starch = RS), (2) RS plus RP-MLH (RS+AA), (3) 30% ground corn (high starch = HS), and (4) HS plus RP-MLH (HS+AA). Dietary starch concentrations averaged 12.3 and 34.4% for RS and HS basal diets, respectively. Diets were supplemented with RP-MLH products to supply digestible Met, Lys, and His. Compared with RS and RS+AA diets, HS and HS+AA diets increased yields of milk (37.9 vs. 40.1 kg/d) and milk protein (1.07 vs. 1.16 kg/d) and decreased dry matter intake (25.9 vs. 25.2 kg/d), milk urea N (12.6 vs. 11.0 mg/dL), and plasma urea N (13.3 vs. 11.6 mg/dL). Milk N efficiency was greater in cows fed the HS and HS+AA than RS and RS+AA diets (28.9 vs. 25%), and RP-MLH supplementation improved milk true protein concentration. Starch level × RP-MLH interactions were observed for plasma concentrations of Arg and Lys, with RP-MLH being more effective to increase plasma Arg (+16%) and Lys (+23%) when supplemented to the RS than the HS basal diet. Replacing pelleted beet pulp and soyhulls with ground corn lowered the plasma concentrations of all essential AA except Met and Thr. In addition, the plasma concentrations of His and Met increased with RP-MLH. The apparent total-tract digestibilities of neutral and acid detergent fiber were lower, and those of starch and ether extract greater in cows offered the HS and HS+AA diets than RS and RS+AA diets. Urinary excretion of urea N decreased by replacing pelleted beet pulp and soyhulls with ground corn. Enteric CH4 production, CH4 yield, and CH4 intensity all decreased in the HS and HS+AA versus RS and RS+AA diets. Diets did not affect the intakes of gross energy, metabolizable energy, and net energy of lactation. In contrast, digestible energy intake increased with feeding the RS and RS+AA diets, whereas CH4 energy decreased in cows fed the HS and HS+AA diets. Supplementation with RP-MLH had no effect on energy utilization variables. Overall, the lack of interactions between dietary starch level and RP-MLH supplementation on most variables measured herein showed that the effects of starch intake and RP-MLH were independent or additive.
  • Authors

  • Zang, Y
  • Silva, LHP
  • Geng, YC
  • Ghelichkhan, M
  • Whitehouse, Nancy
  • Miura, M
  • Brito, Andre
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2021
  • Published In


  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Diet
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted
  • Female
  • Histidine
  • Lactation
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Nitrogen
  • Rumen
  • Starch
  • Zea mays
  • essential amino acid
  • fibrous byproduct
  • ground corn
  • methane
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 34147220
  • Start Page

  • 9784
  • End Page

  • 9800
  • Volume

  • 104
  • Issue

  • 9