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Deuterium oxide dilution can be used to determine the net energy content of feeds for dairy cattle and goats

DOI: 10.4236/ojas.2013.33032, PP. 219-224

Keywords: Net Energy, Deuterium, Dairy, Goats, Cattle

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Abstract:

This article explores a technique for measuring the energy (NEL) value of feeds without respiration calorimetry or slaughter. The objectives were to compare results obtained from goats with those from cows, and to describe factors which limited the precision of these NEL estimates. One lactating Alpine doe and one lactateing Holstein cow were assigned to each of six different sequences of three 56-d feeding treatments consisting of low, medium, and high doses of the basal diet, rice bran, or hominy feed. This resulted in 30 observations of the basal diet and 12 of each byproduct feed for each species and utilized a total of 18 cows and 18 does. The NEL values of the basal diet, rice bran, and hominy feed were calculated as the sum of milk energy, change in body energy, and estimated fasting heat production per kilogram of feed dry matter. Milk energy was determined by bomb calorimetry and body energy from live body weight and deuterium oxide space. The NEL (MJ/kg) determined in this manner were basal diet, 5.73 and 5.98; rice bran, 7.11 and 7.07; and hominy feed, 6.99 and 8.20 for cows and goats, respectively.

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