Short communication: Effect of dietary protein on growth and nitrogen balance of holstein heifers

P. C. Hoffman, N. M. Esser, L. M. Bauman, S. L. Denzine, M. Engstrom, Hugh Chester-Jones

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Abstract

A growth study and a companion N balance study were conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary protein on growth and N utilization of postpubertal Holstein heifers. Forty heifers (398 ± 9.4 kg) were fed one of four diets containing 8, 11, 13, or 15% crude protein (CP) for 121 d. Body measurements were taken at the beginning and end of the experimental period. Blood was collected via jugular vein every 28 d and evaluated for serum protein, albumin, and urea nitrogen. Curvilinear relationships were observed between dietary CP and gains in wither height and hip width, with maximal gains occurring at 13% CP. Feeding heifers higher amounts of dietary CP resulted in linear increases in heart girth gain, serum protein, albumin, and blood urea nitrogen. In the companion N balance study, feeding increasing amounts of dietary CP to heifers resulted in linear increases in N intake, fecal-N, urinary-N, and absorbed-N. There was a numerical trend towards maximal N retention in heifers fed diets containing 13% CP. Curvilinear relationships also were observed between dietary CP and dry matter, organic matter, and CP digestibility with maximal nutrient digestibilities occurring when heifers were fed diets containing 13% CP. Data suggest 13% dietary CP was optimal for postpubertal (400 kg) Holstein heifers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-847
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2001

Keywords

  • Growth
  • Heifers
  • Protein

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    Hoffman, P. C., Esser, N. M., Bauman, L. M., Denzine, S. L., Engstrom, M., & Chester-Jones, H. (2001). Short communication: Effect of dietary protein on growth and nitrogen balance of holstein heifers. Journal of Dairy Science, 84(4), 843-847. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(01)74542-0