Estimation of Microbial Protein Supply of Lactating Dairy Cows under Smallholder Farms in North-East Thailand Using Urinary Purine Derivative Technique
Two experiments were conducted to examine the potential of urinary purine derivative (PD) as a predictive index of microbial protein supply in ruminant livestock under farm conditions. Results of Experiment 1 indicated that diurnal variation in the PDC index ( [mmol/L PD]/[mmol/L creatinine] kgW0.75) in spot urine samples of zebu cattle was small and highly correlated with the daily PD output, suggesting that spot urine samples could be used to derive an index for estimating microbial protein supply of cattle under farm conditions. However, the PDC index for buffaloes was poorly correlated to daily urinary PD output, therefore the use of spot urine samples appeared to be unsuitable for buffaloes. Based on the above results, spot urine samples were used to estimate the microbial protein supply of lactating dairy cows under farm conditions in a follow-up experiment. The study was conducted using 24 lactating cows in 6 smallholder dairy farms situated in Khon Kaen province of Northeast Thailand. The study was conducted over two climatic seasons (raining and dry), where the animals were fed 5 kg of farm-mixed concentrate feed supplemented either with green grass (cut or grazing) or rice straw as roughage source during the raining and dry seasons, respectively. The results indicated that microbial protein supply was not significantly different and therefore, the nutritional status of the lactating cows was not significantly different between the two seasons. The absence of differences in milk yield between seasons seems to support our findings. We conclude that urinary PD technique could be used to estimate rumen microbial protein production for dairy cattle under farm conditions.
KeywordsRice Straw Milk Yield Smallholder Farm Farm Condition Spot Urine Sample
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