Effects of Different Concentrate Feed Proportions on Ruminal Ph Parameters, Duodenal Nutrient Flows and Efficiency of Microbial Crude Protein Synthesis in Dairy Cows During Early Lactation
The aim of the study was to examine different pH parameters, such as variations throughout the day, depending on differing concentrate feed proportions. Moreover, special attention was payed to individual variation in microbial efficiencies (microbial crude protein/fermented organic matter) and their relation to ruminal pH, nutrient flows and digestibilities. For this, cows were grouped according to microbial efficiency (more, n = 5, vs. less efficient cows, n = 4). After calving, thirteen ruminally cannulated pluriparous cows, including nine duodenally cannulated animals, were divided into groups offered rations with a lower (35% on dry matter basis, n = 7) or a higher (60% on dry matter basis, n = 6) concentrate feed proportion. Ruminal pH parameters were assessed continuously by using intraruminal probes. Nutrient flows, nutrient digestibility and microbial efficiency were determined for duodenally cannulated cows. For most ruminal pH parameters it seemed that individual variability was higher than the treatment effect. However, a positive relationship between actual concentrate intake and diurnal pH fluctuations was found. Besides, the effect of individually different microbial efficiencies was assessed. Again, there were no group differences for pH parameters. However, nutrient flows were significantly higher in more efficient cows, whereas digestibilities were lower in in more efficient cows.