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Effect of Feeding Supplemental Fibrolytic Enzymes or Soluble Sugars with Malic Acid on Milk Production

Journal of Dairy Science
American Dairy Science Association
DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(03)73636-4
  • Nutrition
  • Feeding
  • And Calves
  • Biology


Abstract Two trials were conducted to evaluate effects of feeding supplemental fibrolytic enzymes or soluble sugars and malic acid on milk production. In trial 1, 257 cows at four sites were fed a basal diet consisting of no more than 60% of forage DM as corn silage and less than 40% as alfalfa hay. Cows were assigned randomly within site, parity, and two stages of lactation to: 1) control; 2) enzyme A; 3) enzyme B; and 4) soluble sugars and malic acid. There was a 14-d pretreatment and an 84-d treatment period. Enzyme solutions were sprayed on either the forage component or the TMR each day while mixing feed. Trial 2 was similar, except 122 cows at one site in the United Kingdom were fed diets containing forage that was 75% corn silage and 25% grass silage, and all cows began the study between 25 to 31 DIM. Mean milk productions for 233 cows that completed trial 1 were 32.9, 32.5, 32.4, and 32.9kg/d for control, enzyme A, enzyme B, and soluble sugars and malic acid, respectively. Mean milk productions for 116 cows that completed trial 2 were 28.2, 27.9, 28.8, and 28.4kg/d, respectively. In vitro analyses of the activities of enzyme solutions indicated that all major cellulose and hemicellulose degrading activities were present; however, the pH optima (approximate pH = 4 to 5) were more acidic, and the temperature optimum (approximately 50°C) was greater than normal pH and temperature in the rumen. If fibrolytic activity in the rumen is a major mechanism of action of supplemental fibrolytic enzymes, it appears that considerable activity of these preparations was lost due to conditions in the rumen. In conclusion, feeding supplemental fibrolytic enzymes or malic acid with soluble sugars had no effect on milk production under the conditions used in this study.

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