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Effects of contrasting forage diets on phosphorus utilisation in lactating dairy cows

Kebreab, E., Shah, M. A., Beever, D. E., Humphries, D. J., Sutton, J. D., France, J. and Mueller-Harvey, I. (2005) Effects of contrasting forage diets on phosphorus utilisation in lactating dairy cows. Livestock Production Science, 93 (2). pp. 125-135. ISSN 0301-6226

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.livprodsci.2004.09.008


The effects of different forage mixtures on duodenal flow and faecal output of phosphorus (P) were measured in lactating dairy cows in two experiments. The forages comprised grass silage (GS) alone or mixtures of GS and urea-treated whole crop wheat (WCW). Replacement of GS by high levels of WCW resulted in a significant decrease in total P (TP), water-soluble P (WSP) and acid-soluble P (ASP) intakes, but increased phytate P (PP) and acid-insoluble P (AIP) intakes. Duodenal flows of all P fractions were unaffected by dietary treatments. However, the amounts of all fractions flowing to the intestine were much higher than the amounts consumed-with the exception of AIP, which was unchanged, and PP, which was considerably reduced. Diets did not significantly affect faecal outputs of TP, ASP, PP and AIP; however, faecal outputs of WSP were significantly higher on WCW than GS diets. Inclusion of WCW significantly decreased TP and WSP availabilities in the total tract but did not affect PP and AIP availabilities. A new fraction of P, which was not present in the feeds, was found in significant amounts in the intestines and proved to be soluble in dilute acid but insoluble in water. Estimated annual excretions for a herd of 100 cows ranged from 1550 to 1721 kg for total P of which 337-786 kg was WSP. The results suggest that GS based diets deposit more P in the environment. However, the potential to cause P pollution depends not only on the quantity but also on the nature of faecal P and on soil parameters. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:8780
Uncontrolled Keywords:dairy cows, phosphorus digestion, pollution, phosphorus fractions, WHOLE-CROP WHEAT, MILK-PRODUCTION, GRASS-SILAGE, FOOD-INTAKE, CALCIUM, SHEEP, MAGNESIUM, PHYTATE, DISAPPEARANCE, SOLUBILITY

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