This study evaluated the effect of a supplemental rumen-protected Met product (Timet; VETAGRO S.p.A.; Reggio Emilia, Italy) on lactation performance and rumen measures of dairy cows fed 2 concentrations of dietary CP. Sixteen multiparous Holstein cows (8 ruminally-cannulated) were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with 28-d periods. Cows were fed 1 of 4 diets: (1) a control diet containing (DM basis) 40.8% corn silage, 9.5% hay crop silage, and 49.7% grain mix (CON); (2) the CON diet plus Timet (TMT); (3) the CON diet plus Smartamine (Adisseo USA Inc.; Alpharetta, GA; SMT); and (4) a reduced-CP diet plus Timet (TMT-RCP). The TMT, SMT, and TMT-RCP were balanced to contain the same supply of metabolizable Met and Lys, and contained (DM basis) 16.2, 16.2, 15.9, and 13.7% CP, respectively. All diets contained 30.9% NDF and 26.8% starch. Dry matter intake and milk yield were measured on d 22–28. Milk samples were collected d 26–27 to determine composition. Rumen NH3-N concentrations were measured on d 26–27 at 4-h intervals. Data were analyzed by ANOVA using the MIXED procedure of SAS. Dry matter intake was unaffected by diet, averaging 26.8 kg/d (P > 0.10). Milk yield was unaffected by diet and was 45.6, 46.8, 44.4, and 44.9 kg/d for the CON, TMT, SMT, and TMT-RCP diets, respectively (P > 0.10). Milk protein percentage was increased for cows fed SMT (3.33%) compared with the other 3 diets (3.24%; P = 0.01), but protein yield was unaffected by diet and was 1.44, 1.49, 1.45, and 1.46 kg/d for the CON, TMT, SMT, and TMT-RCP diets, respectively (P > 0.10). Milk lactose percentage was decreased for cows fed SMT (4.55%) compared with the other 3 diets (4.61%; P = 0.01). Consistent with reduced CP, MUN (mg/dL) was decreased for cows fed TMT-RCP (11.3) compared with the other 3 diets (13.5; P ≤ 0.01), and ruminal NH3-N (mg/dL) was decreased for cows fed TMT-RCP (3.4) compared with the other 3 diets (6.9; P = 0.001). In conclusion, milk and protein yields were unaffected by sources of rumen-protected Met products. Supplementation of Timet maintained the lactation performance of cows fed reduced CP diets.
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Original abstract here.