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Qiao G.H.,Lanzhou Institute of Animal and Veterinarian Pharmaceutics Science | Shao T.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Yu C.Q.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wang X.L.,Lanzhou Institute of Animal and Veterinarian Pharmaceutics Science | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition | Year: 2013

The object of this study was to investigate the effect of two altitudes (1600 vs. 3600m) with two nutritional levels [5.88MJ/kg dry matter (DM) vs. 7.56MJ/kg DM] on apparent total tract digestibility, rumen fermentation, energy metabolism, milk yield and milk composition in Chinese Holstein cows. Sixteen Chinese Holstein cows in their third lactation with close body weights, days in milk and milk yield were randomly divided into four groups, of which two were directly transferred from Lanzhou (altitude of 1600m) to Lhasa (altitude of 3600m). Four treatments (high plateau and high nutrition level, HA-HN; high plateau and low nutrition level, HA-LN; low plateau and high nutrition level, LA-HN; and low plateau and low nutrition level, LA-LN) were randomly arranged in a 2×2 factorial experimental design. Results indicated that the apparent total tract digestibility of a diet's DM, organic matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre and DM intake were not affected by either altitude or nutrition level (p>0.05). Milk protein percentage was higher for the diet with the high level of nutrition than for the diet with low nutrition level irrespective of altitude (p<0.05). Percentages of milk fat and milk lactose were not affected by either altitude or nutrition level (p>0.05). The metabolizable energy used for milk energy output was decreased by high altitude in comparison with that at low altitude (p<0.05). No differences were observed in the live body weight or body condition score (BCS) of Chinese Holstein cows among all of the four treatments (p>0.05). © 2009 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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