Abstract #M306

# M306
Feeding rumen-protected methionine pre- and postpartum increases milk protein content and yield in early-lactation.
M. Z. Toledo*1, R. S. Gennari1, R. V. Barletta1, P. L. J. Monteiro Jr.1, C. A. Gamarra1, A. B. Prata1, J. R. R. Dorea1, A. Jones1, D. Luchini2, G. I. Zanton3, M. E. Van Amburgh4, J. O. Giordano4, R. D. Shaver1, M. C. Wiltbank1, 1University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 2Adisseo, Alpharetta, GA, 3USDA, US Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, WI, 4Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Objectives were to evaluate the effects of feeding rumen-protected methionine (MET) from 23 d (±12) before calving until 98 DIM on lactation performance and DMI of dairy cows. Multiparous Holstein cows (n = 223) were enrolled before calving and housed in replicated close-up (n = 4; 10 cows each) and lactation pens (n = 6; 16 cows each) in a free-stall barn, milked 2× daily, pen-fed a basal diet formulated to contain 14.5% and 16.2% CP in close-up and lactation periods, respectively and randomly assigned to either (1) MET, fed 12 g of Smartamine M mixed with 215 g of distillers grains (DDGS) with 1441 g of metabolizable protein (MP), 6.86% Lys and 2.67% Met and 26 g of Smartamine M mixed with 201 g DDGS, 3300 g of MP, 6.72% Lys and 2.56% Met as % of MP, close-up and lactation periods, respectively; or (2) Control (CON), fed 227 g of DDGS either close-up and lactation, with 1432 g of MP, 6.89% Lys and 2.15% Met and 3292 g MP, 6.75% Lys and 2.08% Met as % of MP, close-up and lactation periods, respectively, with mixes that were incorporated into TMR. Milk yields were recorded daily and milk composition and milk components yields determined weekly. For lactation pens, DMI was recorded daily and the average of the period when pens were full was used for the analysis. The statistical models contained pen as the experimental unit and DMI and production variables were analyzed by a linear mixed model and by a linear mixed model with repeated measures, respectively, using PROC MIXED of SAS. Feeding MET increased milk protein percentage (2.82% vs. 2.95%, P < 0.001) and yield (1.39 kg/d vs. 1.44 kg/d, P = 0.04), with no difference in ECM, 3.5% FCM, fat, lactose, somatic cells count and milk urea nitrogen. The MET treatment had no effect on DMI (27.0 vs 27.2 kg/d, P = 0.67) or milk yield (50.0 kg/d vs. 49.3 kg/d, P = 0.33). Feeding MET pre- and postpartum improved lactation performance by increasing milk protein percentage and yield, however, DMI, milk yield and other milk components were unaffected by treatment.

Key Words: methionine, transition cow, milk protein