Splanchnic and mammary nitrogen metabolism by dairy cows fed steam-rolled or steam-flaked corn

A. Delgado-Elorduy, C. B. Theurer, J. T. Huber, A. Alio, O. Lozano, M. Sadik, P. Cuneo, H. D. De Young, I. J. Simas, J. E.P. Santos, L. Nussio, C. Nussio, K. E. Webb, H. Tagari

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Objectives were to determine net release or uptake of α-amino N, ammonia N, and urea N across portal-drained viscera, liver, splanchnic, and mammary tissues of lactating Holstein cows (n = 6; 109 ± 9 d in milk) fed alfalfa hay-based total mixed rations (TMR) containing 40% steam-rolled or steam-flaked corn grain. The TMR were offered at 12-h intervals in a crossover design. Blood samples were obtained from indwelling catheters in portal, hepatic, and mammary veins and mesenteric or costo abdominal arteries, every 2 h for each cow and diet. Steam-flaked compared with steam-rolled corn greatly increased in vitro starch hydrolysis (56 vs. 34%). Daily intake of dry matter (18.4 ± 0.4 kg/d), starch, N, and net energy for lactation by cows were not altered by processing corn; neither were daily yield of milk (29.1 ± 0.7 kg/d), fat-corrected milk, nor fat-corrected milk per dry matter intake. Steam-flaking tended to increase percent milk protein (2.97 vs. 2.82%; P = 0.07), but not yield, and decrease percent lactose (4.83 vs. 4.94) but not yield. Portal and hepatic blood flows were not affected by diet, nor were net absorption of α-amino N and ammonia N. Steam-flaking compared with steam-rolling increased urea N cycling to portal-drained viscera (212 vs. 87 g/d) by 140%, estimated mammary uptake and extraction ratio of α-amino N. Flaking versus rolling of corn improved N utilization in dairy cows by increasing urea cycling to the gut and uptake of α-amino N by the mammary gland. Higher mammary uptake of α-amino N (78 vs. 50 g/d) by dairy cows fed steam-flaked corn tended to increase milk protein content and may explain the previously observed effects of cows fed steam-flaked versus steam-rolled corn.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)160-168
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of dairy science
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2002


    • Dairy cows
    • Flaked corn
    • Nitrogen metabolism

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Genetics


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