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Effect of forage source and processing conditions of fava bean on amino acid digestion in dairy cows

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Due to the relative low P content and the non-GM origin, fava beans is a suitable alternative protein source for dairy cows to substitute rapeseed and soybean when P load or origin has to be taken into account. In order to maximize
the utilization of protein from fava beans, feasible and efficient approaches to process the fava beans are required. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of forage source and fava beans processing conditions on supply
of amino acids (AA) digested in the small intestine. Six multi-fistulated Holstein dairy cows were used in a 6×4 incomplete Latin square design. Diets were either high in grass-clover silage (45% grass-clover, 15% maize) or high in maize silage (45% maize, 15% grass-clover) of feed DM combined with 30% of either ground, toasted and ground, or rolled fava beans. Duodenal and ileal flow of AA were measured using Cr2O3 and TiO2 as markers. Treatment effects were estimated by use of orthogonal contrast in R Studio (version 3.6.3) using the linear mixed-effects models procedure. Rolling of fava beans tended to lower small intestinal digestibility of total AA with 712 and 708 g/kg for diets high in grass silage and diets high in maize silage, respectively, compared to ground fava beans with 728 and 748 g/kg (P=0.05). Likewise, rolling of fava beans resulted in lower digestibility of Arg, Asp, Glu, Gly, Lys in the small intestine compared to ground fava beans (P≤0.05). Forage source had no effect on AA digestion but resulted in
a higher Gly small intestinal digestibility for diets high in maize silage compared diets high in grass silage (P=0.02). Toasting had no effect (P>0.05) on the digestion and digestibility of amino acids in the small intestine. There was no
effect of treatments on total AA digested in the small intestine per kg of DM intake (P>0.05) with the numerically lowest (102 g/kg DMI) for diets high in maize silage with toasted fava beans and highest (112 g/kg DMI) for diet
high in grass silage with toasted fava beans. In conclusion, treatments did not significantly improve AA digestion in the small intestine, but grinding resulted in the highest AA digestibility in the small intestine.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
EditorsE. Strandberg, L. Pinotti, S. Messori, D. Kenny, M. Lee, J.F. Hocquette, V.A.P. Cadavez, S. Millet, R. Evans, T. Veldkamp, M. Pastell, G. Pollott
Number of pages1
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Publication yearAug 2021
ISBN (print)978-90-8686-366-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-8686-918-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Event72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science - Congress Centre Davos, Davos, Switzerland
Duration: 29 Aug 20213 Sep 2021


Conference72nd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
LocationCongress Centre Davos
SeriesEAAP Book of Abstracts

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