The objective of this experiment was to test the effect of a Met analog, 2-hydroxy-4-methylthio-butanoic acid (HMTBa), on ruminal fermentation and microbial protein synthesis, nutrient digestibility, urinary N losses, and performance of dairy cows. Eight multiparous lactating Holstein dairy cows were assigned to 4 levels of HMTBa [0 (control), 0.05, 0.10, and 0.15% (dry matter basis)] in a replicated 4×4 Latin square trial. Experimental periods were 28 d, including 21 d for adaptation. Ruminal ammonia and microbial N were labeled through a 6-d intraruminal infusion of 15NH4Cl, and microbial protein synthesis in the rumen was estimated using the reticular sampling technique. Treatment had no effect on dry matter intake (28.4 to 29.8kg/d), milk yield (44.1 to 45.3kg/d), feed efficiency, and milk composition. Total-tract apparent digestibility of nutrients was generally not affected by treatment, except digestibility of crude protein and starch decreased quadratically with HMTBa supplementation. Fecal, but not urinary, and total excreta N losses were increased quadratically by HMTBa. Ruminal pH, ammonia concentration, protozoal counts, and the major volatile fatty acids were not affected by treatment. Microbial N outflow from the rumen was linearly increased by HMTBa. 2-Hydroxy-4-methylthio-butanoic acid linearly increased the proportion of Fecalibacterium and quadratically decreased the proportion of Eubacterium in ruminal contents. Of the individual bacterial species, HMTBa increased or tended to increase Prevotella loescheii and Prevotella oralis. 2-Hydroxy-4-methylthio-butanoic acid linearly increased the concentration (and yield) of 15:0 in milk fat. In the conditions of this crossover experiment, HMTBa had no effect on feed intake and performance of dairy cows, decreased dietary crude protein digestibility, and increased microbial N outflow from the rumen.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology