Effect of niacin supplementation and digestibility, nitrogen utilisation and milk and blood variables in lactating dairy cows fed a diet with a negative rumen nitrogen balance
The aim of the present experiment was to determine if a niacin supplementation of 6 g/d to lactating dairy cow diets can compensate negative effects of a rumen nitrogen balance (RNB) deficit. A total of nine ruminally and duodenally fistulated lactating multiparous German Holstein cows were successively assigned to one of three diets consisting of 10 kg maize silage (dry matter [DM] basis) and7 kg DM concentrate: Diet RNB- (n = 6) with energy and utilisable crude protein at the duodenum (uCP) according to the average requirement of the animals but with a negative RNB (-0.41 g N/MJ metabolisable energy [ME]); Diet RNB0 (n = 7) with energy, uCP and a RNB (0.08 g N/MJ ME) according to the average requirement of the animals and, finally, Diet NA (n = 5), which was the same diet as RNB-, but supplemented with 6 g niacin/d. Samples of milk were taken on two consecutive days, blood samples were taken on one day pre- and post-feeding and faeces and urine were collected completely over five consecutive days. The negative RNB reduced milk and blood urea content and apparent total tract digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF). Also N excretion with urine, the total N excreted with urine and faeces and the N balance were reduced when the RNB was negative. Supplementation of niacin elevated plasma glucose concentration after feeding and the N balance increased. Supplementing the diet with a negative RNB with niacin led to a more efficient use of dietary N thereby avoiding the negative effects of the negative RNB on the digestibility of DM, OM and NDF.
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