Nonstructural Carbohydrate and Undegradable Protein Sources in the Diet: Growth Responses of Dairy Heifers

David P. Casper, David J. Schingoethe, Michael J. Brouk, Harouna A. Maiga

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22 Scopus citations


Thirty-five 3-mo-old 150-kg Holstein heifers were fed diets containing two nonstructural carbohydrate sources (corn or barley) with two quantities of undegradable protein (soybean meal or extruded soybean meal) for 9 wk in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement to evaluate NRC guidelines that the diet contain increased quantities of undegraded intake protein. Total mixed diets fed for ad libitum intake contained approximately 17.4% CP, consisting of 16.7% corn silage (DM basis), 33.3% chopped alfalfa hay, and 50% concentrate mix. Average daily gains were greater for heifers fed extruded soybean meal, but response was greater when heifers were fed barley-extruded soybean meal (1.12, 1.13, 1.05, and 1.23 kg/d for corn-soybean meal, corn-extruded soybean meal, barley-soybean meal, and barley-extruded soybean meal, respectively) than diets of barley-soybean meal. Extruded soybean meal increased DMI (5.9, 6.1, 5.2, and 6.7 kg/d), but DMI were similar when diets based on corn or barley were fed. Diets with greater concentrations of undegraded intake protein fed to dairy heifers resulted in greater DMI and average daily gains, but responses were greater when heifers were fed diets based on barley rather than corn. These results suggest that current NRC recommendations for undegraded intake protein fed to 3- to 6-mo-old dairy heifers are too high; diets containing 35 to 40% undegraded intake protein should be sufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2595-2604
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • ADG
  • B
  • C
  • DIP
  • ESBM
  • NSC
  • SBM
  • UIP
  • average daily gain
  • barley
  • corn
  • extruded SBM
  • heifers
  • nonstructural carbohydrates
  • nonstructural carbohydrates
  • ruminally degraded intake protein
  • ruminally undegraded intake protein
  • soybean meal
  • undegradable protein


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