Diurnal concentration of urinary nitrogen and rumen ammonia are modified by timing and mass of herbage allocation
The objective of this work was to evaluate whether changes in time of herbage allocation and herbage mass (HM) (low (L) or medium (M)) modify the diurnal pattern of urinary nitrogen (N) concentration and ruminal ammonia (NH₃) of lactating dairy cows. Four Holstein-Friesian cows fitted with rumen cannula were randomly allocated to one of four treatments: 1) low herbage mass in the morning (L-AM) (Access to new herbage allocation after morning milking with a herbage mass (HM) of 2000 kg DM/ha); 2) low herbage mass in the afternoon (L-PM) (Access to new herbage allocation after afternoon milking with a HM of 2000 kg DM/ha); 3) medium herbage mass in the morning (M-AM) (Access to new herbage allocation after morning milking with a HM of 3000 kg DM/ha); and 4) medium herbage mass in the afternoon (M-PM) (Access to new herbage allocation after afternoon milking with a HM of 3000 kg DM/ha). A four by four Latin Square design with four treatments, four cows, and four experimental periods was used to evaluate treatment effects. Rumen NH₃ concentration was greater for L-AM compared to L-PM and M-PM at 13:00 and 16:00 h. Urine urea and N concentrations were lower for M-AM compared to L-AM. Urine N concentration was greater for L-AM than other treatments at 10:00 hours and greater for M-PM compared to M-AM at 16:00 hours. Results suggest that maintaining the cows in the holding pen at the milking parlor for two hours after morning grass silage supplementation for L-AM and for two hours after afternoon grass silage supplementation for M-PM, could allow collection of urine from cows at the holding pen and storage of urine in the slurry pit during the time of peak N concentration, returning cows to the pasture at a time of day when urinary N concentration is decreased.... [Show full abstract]
© 2019 by the authors.