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Evaluating and improving the nutritional management of Canadian dairy farms

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Title: Evaluating and improving the nutritional management of Canadian dairy farms
Author: Gee, Steven
Department: Department of Animal Biosciences
Program: Animal and Poultry Science
Advisor: Carpenter, Abigail
Abstract: In order to continue to advance nutritional management practices in Canada, more knowledge is needed regarding farm demographics, feeds utilized, and attitudes towards feeding practices. An online survey was sent to dairy producers. 230 responses were received from Ontario and Western Canada. They showed similar demographics to known numbers. Feeds more commonly grown within that region were used more often in diets. Farmers valued performance greatest when formulating rations. One potential way to improve nutritional management on farms is to feed a rumen-protected amino acid such as lysine to stop the reduction in milk resulting from feeding low protein diets. Lactating dairy cattle (n=12) were fed 15 or 17% dietary CP diets with or without lysine top-dressed. Lysine supplementation in low protein diets improved milk yields to a level similar to high protein diets, while decreasing N waste. The results reported here demonstrate potential routes for improvement on Canadian dairies.
Date: 2019-05
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