Effects of Feeding Ground Wheat Grain on Health and Performance of Dairy Cows in Peripartum Period


24 Holstein cows and 16 Holstein heifers in close-up period were used to evaluate the effects of ground wheat grain in prepartum diets on health and performance of dairy cows. Cows were blocked based on parity (three groups) and then randomly assigned to two experimental diets. Study rations included a treatment containing wheat with 1.62Mcal/kg NEL, 14.8%CP, 42.1%NFC, and –64meq/Kg DCAD and another treatment was composed of barley and wheat bran with 1.59Mcal/kg NEL, 14.8%CP, 38.2%NFC, and –48meq/Kg DCAD. Cows were fed experimental diets in group, on average 24%4 days prior to parturition, and they were fed the same ration up to day 21 postpartum. Average feed intake prior to confining, milk yield and composition, blood metabolites, feeding and chewing activity, urine and feces pH, placenta weight and time of its omitted, pregnancy duration, parturition status, body weight and BCS, and metabolic disorders were evaluated in this research. Average feed intake for wheat treatment was more than barley and wheat bran treatment (11.56 in contrast to 10.74, Kg DM), but it was not statistically significant. Milk production in wheat treatment had no significant increase. Milk fat yield in wheat treatment had a higher value compared to barley and wheat bran treatment (P<0.025). Blood calcium in wheat treatment was significantly higher (P<0.005), and blood glucose in wheat treatment was significantly higher than barley and wheat bran treatment (P<0.011). Changes in body weight and BCS, pregnancy duration and parturition status were not significantly different between treatments. Urine pH in wheat treatment had a significant decrease in the last week prior to parturition (P< 0.003).

Journal of Hydrology and Soil Science, Volume:12 Issue: 1, 2008
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