Effect of energy and protein supplementation on phosphorus utilization in lactating dairy cows
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Centre for Nutrition Modelling, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading RG6 6AR, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2005-01-31
Corresponding author
E. Kebreab   

Centre for Nutrition Modelling, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2005;14(1):63-77
Two experiments were undertaken in which grass silage was used in conjunction with a series of different concentrate types designed to examine the effect of carbohydrate source, protein level and degradability on total dietary phosphorus (P) utilization with emphasis on P pollution. Twelve Holstein-Friesian dairy cows in early to mid-lactation were used in an incomplete changeover design with four periods consisting of 4 weeks each. Phosphorus intake ranged from 54 to 80 g/day and faecal P represented the principal route by which ingested P was disposed of by cows, with insignificant amounts being voided in urine. A positive linear relationship between faecal P and P intake was established. In Experiment 1, P utilization was affected by dietary carbohydrate type, with an associated output of 3.3 g faecal P/g milk P produced for all treatments except those utilizing low degradable starch and low protein supplements, where a mean value of 2.8 g faecal P/g milk P was observed. In Experiment 2, where two protein levels and three protein degradabilities were examined, the efficiency of P utilization for milk P production was not affected by either level or degradability of crude protein (CP) but a significant reduction in faecal P excretion due to lower protein and P intake was observed. In general, P utilization in Experiment 2 was substantially improved compared to the Experiment 1, with an associated output of 1.8 g faecal P/g milk P produced. The improved utilization of P in Experiment 2 could be due to lower P content of the diets offered and higher dry matter (DM) intake. For dairy cows weighing 600 kg, consuming 17-18 kg DM/day and producing about 25 kg milk, P excretion in faeces and hence P pollution to the environment might be minimized without compromising lactational performance by formulating diets to supply about 68 g P/day, which is close to recent published recommended requirements for P.
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