Total tract nutrient digestion and milk fatty acid profile of dairy cows fed diets containing different levels of whole raw soya beans

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Whole oilseeds such as soya beans have been utilized in dairy rations to supply additional fat and protein. However, antinutritional components contained in soya beans, such as trypsin inhibitors and haemagglutinins (lectins) may alter digestibility of nutrients and consequently affect animal performance. The objective of the present experiment was to quantify the effect of different levels of whole raw soya beans in diets of dairy cows on nutrient intake, total tract digestion, nutrient balances and milk yield and composition. Sixteen mid to late-lactation cows (228 ± 20 days in milk; mean ± SD) were used in four replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design experiment with 21-d periods. Cows were assigned to each square according to milk yield and DIM. The animals were randomly allocated to treatments: control (without soya beans addition; CO), WS9, WS18 and WS27, with addition of 9%, 18% and 27% of whole raw soya bean in diet on a dry matter (DM) basis respectively. All diets contained identical forage and concentrate components and consisted of maize silage and concentrate based on ground corn and soya beans at a ratio of 60:40. There were no differences in OM, CP, NDF and NEL intakes (kg/day and MJ/day) among the treatments (p > 0.05). However, DM and NFC intakes were negatively affected (p = 0.04 and p < 0.01, respectively) and ether extract (EE) intake was positively affected (p < 0.01). Total tract digestion increased linearly with whole raw soya beans for EE (p < 0.01) and NDF (p = 0.01). The excretion (kg/day) of digested soya beans grains increased linearly according to addition of whole raw soya beans. However, the nutritive characteristics of excreted grains were not altered. Milk (kg), milk lactose (kg) and protein (kg) yield decreased linearly (p < 0.01, p < 0.01 and p = 0.04, respectively) milk fat content (%) increased linearly (p < 0.01) with whole raw soya beans inclusion. Increasing addition of whole raw soya beans affected milk fatty acid profile with a linear decrease of cis-9-trans 11CLA and total saturated FA; and linear increase of total unsaturated and C18:3 FA. Energy balance was positively affected (p = 0.03) by whole raw soya beans as well as efficiency of NEL milk/DE intake (p = 0.02). Nitrogen balance and microbial protein synthesis were not affected by whole raw soya beans. Increasing doses of whole raw soya beans decreased dry matter intake and milk yield, however, led to an increase of unsaturated acids in milk and higher milk fat concentration.

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