Two experiments were conducted with the objective of investigating the effects of rumen-protected methionine (RPMet) supplementation of metabolizable protein (MP)-deficient or MP-adequate but Met-deficient diets on dairy cow performance. Experiment (Exp.) 1 utilized 36 Holstein dairy cows blocked in 12 blocks of 3 cows each. Cows within block were assigned to one of the following dietary treatments: (1) MP-adequate diet [AMP; positive MP balance according to the National Research Council (2001) dairy model]; (2) an MP-deficient diet supplemented with 100g of rumen-protected Lys (RPLys)/cow per day (DMPL); and (3) DMPL supplemented with 24g of RPMet/cow per day (DMPLM). Experiment 2 utilized 120 Holstein cows assigned to 6 pens of 20 cows each. Pens (3 per treatment) were assigned to one of the following dietary treatments: (1) AMP diet supplemented with 76g of RPLys/cow per day (AMPL); and (2) AMPL (74g of RPLys/cow per day) supplemented with 24g of RPMet/cow per day (AMPLM). Each experiment lasted for 10wk (2-wk adaptation and 8-wk experimental periods) following a 2-wk covariate period (i.e., a total of 12wk). In Exp. 1, the MP-deficient diets decreased apparent total-tract nutrient digestibility but had no statistical effect on dry matter intake (DMI), milk yield, or milk fat percentage and yield. Compared with AMP, DMPL decreased milk protein content; both DMPL and DMPLM diets decreased milk protein yield. Urinary N losses and milk urea-N concentration were decreased by the MP-deficient diets compared with AMP. The ammonia emitting potential of manure from the MP-deficient diets was decreased by about 37% compared with that of AMP manure. Plasma Lys and Met concentrations were not affected by treatment, but concentrations of His, Thr, and Val were lower for the MP-deficient diets compared with AMP. In Exp. 2, the AMPLM diet had lower milk yield than AMPL due to numerically lower DMI; no other effects were observed in Exp. 2. In conclusion, feeding MP-deficient diets supplemented with RPLys and RPMet did not statistically decrease milk yield in dairy cows in Exp. 1. However, without RPMet supplementation, milk protein content was decreased compared with the MP-adequate diet. Other amino acids, possibly His, may limit milk production in MP-deficient, corn or corn silage-based diets. A summary of 97 individual cow data from trials in which MP-deficient diets were fed suggested the National Research Council (2001) model under-predicts milk yield in cows fed MP-deficient diets (MP balance of -20 to -666g/d) in a linear manner: milk yield under-prediction [National Research Council (2001) MP-allowable milk yield, kg/d - actual milk yield, kg/d] = 0.0991 (±0.0905) + 0.0230 (±0.0003) × MP balance, g/d (R2=0.99).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology