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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 247941, 7 pages
Research Article

Ground Wheat Grain for Midlactation Cows: Challenging a Common Wisdom

Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Zanjan, Zanjan 313-45195, Iran

Received 11 October 2011; Accepted 18 December 2011

Academic Editor: Antonio Souto

Copyright © 2012 A. Nikkhah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The objective was to determine the effects of ground wheat grain (GW) inclusion rate, grinding extent (GE), and their interaction on lactating cow performance. Eight midlactation cows in 3 × 4  m individual boxes were used in a 4 × 4 replicated Latin square design study with 4 21 d periods. GW was fed at either 10% or 20% of diet dry matter (DM), as either finer or coarser particles. DM intake increased and net energy for lactation (NEL) intake tended to increase when GW was fed at 10% instead of 20% of diet DM. Milk energy yield, milk solids content and yield, and urine pH were unaffected. Fecal pH tended to increase at 20% versus 10% GW. Total tract apparent NDF, but not DM, digestibility tended to be greater for coarsely than finely GW and tended to be greater at 10% versus 20% GW. GW at 10% versus 20% of diet DM decreased blood BHBA and increased blood concentrations of total proteins and albumin. Data provide novel evidence that both finely and coarsely ground WG can be safely fed up to 20% midlactation cows. Commercial accessibility and cost will determine feeding preference of wheat grain to dairy cows.