Effect of corn shredlage on feed intake, rumen fermentation, and lactationperformance of dairy cows fed a low-fibre diet
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Corn shredlage is a whole-plant corn silage with a greater proportion of long particles andintensively processed stalks (by shredding and peeling) and kernels (by thorough crushing).Corn shredlage may improve rumen function and milk performance of dairy cows, especially inlow-fibre diets. Paradoxically, little is known about the specific effects of corn shredlage onrumen fermentation. This study aimed to understand how the dietary replacement of corn silagewith corn shredlage changes feed intake, rumen fermentation, rumination time, and milk per-formance of dairy cows fed a low-fibre diet. Thirty-four lactating cows were allocated to twodietary treatments in a crossover design with two 30-day periods. The dietary treatment was atotal mixed ration with either 1) 25% conventionally processed corn silage (CON; 14-mm theor-etical length of cut, TLOC) or 2) 25% corn shredlage (SHR; 26-mm TLOC). Cows on the SHR diethad increased DMI and body weight. Although milk yield was unaffected by diet, cows on theSHR diet tended to have increased yields of 4% FCM, ECM, and milk fat. The yields of milk pro-tein and lactose were not affected by diet. Similarly, the proportion of milk componentsremained unaffected. The feed efficiency (milk/DMI) was higher in cows fed the CON diet,whereas it remained unaffected when expressed as ECM/DMI. Neither rumination nor rumen fer-mentation parameters were affected by the diet. Overall, the positive effects of corn shredlageon milk performance were relatively small and a result of increased DMI rather than improvedrumen fermentation or rumination.
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