Rumen metabolism, microbial biomass synthesis and microbial long chain fatty acid composition were studied in lactating cows fed at two levels of dry matter intake (L, 8.6 kg DM and H, 12.6 kg DM) with 0, 4 and 6% added tallow at the low feed level (L0, L4 and L6) and 0, 2, 4 and 6% at the high feed level (H0, H2, H4 and H6). Fibre digestibility was not significantly affected by tallow addition. Increasing tallow level in the diet decreased the total VFA concentration, the ratio of acetic acid to propionic acid and the ammonia concentration in the rumen. Crude fat and fatty acid content in bacterial and protozoal dry matter increased with increased tallow level, especially due to an increase in fatty acids originating from the feeds. Microbial synthesis in the rumen and flow of amino acids to the duodenum was highest for medium fat intake at the high feed level.
Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section a - Animal Science, 1992, Vol 42, Issue 3, p. 138-147