R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Sep/2017;46(9):766-72.
Tifton 85 bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.) silage as a replacement for Tifton 85 hay to feed lactating cows
The objective of the study was to evaluate the replacement of Tifton 85 hay (TH) for Tifton 85 silage (TS) in the diets of lactating cows. Five Holstein cows in middle of lactation were allocated in a 5 × 5 Latin square design and each experimental period lasted 18 days (12 days for adaptation and six days for collection). Treatments consisted of replacement of 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% of TH for TS. The intake and digestion of nutrients, microbial protein synthesis, milk yield and composition, and the economic viability of the diets were evaluated. The intakes of dry matter, organic matter, and ether extract had a positive linear effect and the digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber decreased linearly with increasing participation of TS. Milk production and composition and microbial protein synthesis were not affected. Regarding economic viability, the treatment with 100% hay produced better results, with better gross margin. The Tifton 85 silage can be used as a replacement for Tifton 85 hay up to 100% without changing the milk production and composition of Holstein cows.