First limiting nutrient for summer calving cows grazing autumn-winter range.

Lardy, G.P.
Adams, D.C.
Klopfenstein, T.J.
Clark, R.T.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
Two trials were conducted in 1994, 1995, and 1996 to determine the first limiting nutrient for summer calving cows grazing Sandhills range. In Trial 1, 48 lactating summer calving cows grazing native range during the breeding season were assigned to 1 of 4 supplement treatments: 1) control-no supplement, 2) energy, 3) degradable intake protein (DIP), and 4) DIP + undegraded intake protein (UIP). Cows were group-fed supplements in 8 pastures (2 pastures/treatment). The trial began 4 September and ended 4 November each year. Diet samples from esophageally fistulated cows averaged 7.5% crude protein and 54.5% in vitro organic matter digestibility. Supplemented cows lost less body condition compared to control cows (P = 0.04). Cow and calf weight gains were increased by supplemental DIP or DIP + UIP combination compared to energy supplement (P = 0.09 and 0.08, respectively). Forage intake and digestibility were not different among treatments (P > 0.20). Milk production was lower for non-supplemented than supplemented cows (P = 0.10). Trial 2 began 5 November and ended 10 January in 1994-1995, 1995-1996, and 1996-1997. Treatments and pastures were the same as described in Trial 1, however, only 40 cows were used. In Trial 2, diet samples from esophageally fistulated cows averaged 6.2% crude protein and 52.3% in vitro organic matter digestibility. No differences (P > 0.10) in body condition score were detected. Total organic matter intake was lower for control compared to supplemented treatments (13.5 vs.15.5 kg day(-1); P < 0.10). We concluded that DIP was the first limiting nutrient for summer calving cows during the breeding season and during autumn-winter lactation after the breeding season.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
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