Ionophore taste preferences of dairy heifers


Two taste preference studies were conducted using six Holstein heifers in each experiment to determine preferences for no ionophore, lasalocid, or monensin in the diet. In Exp. 1, individually penned (approx. 5 mo old; 220 ± 14 kg BW) heifers were fed a basal total mixed ration containing 46% corn silage, 46% grass haylage, and 8% soybean meal (DM basis). There were five treatments (mg/kg BW−1•d−1): 0 ionophore (control), 1 lasalocid (1L), 2 lasalocid (2L), 1 monensin (1M), or 2 monensin (2M). Ionophores were provided as part of the mineral mix that had been added to the control diet and through an ionophore-grain by-product mix to make the 2L and 2M treatments. All five diets were offered for 7 d, with the first 2 d for adaptation and the last 5 d for measurement of feed intake. The most preferred diet was then removed and the study continued with the four remaining diets. The most preferred diets were again eliminated sequentially, so that only two diets remained on d 13 and 14. Each feeding segment ranking of treatment preferences was determined based on the weight of feed refused at the end of each feeding segment. In Exp. 2, six 6-wk-old heifers (75 ± 5 kg of BW) were individually fed either 0, 1L, or 1M in a study similar to Exp. 1, except that the most preferred diet was removed after 4 d, with the first day for adaptation and the last 3 d for measurement of feed intake. In Exp. 1, orthogonal contrasts indicated that heifers preferred the 1L and 2L diets over the 1M and 2M diets. Preferences between diet concentrations of ionophores (1 and 2 mg/kg of BW; Exp. 1) and the control and ionophore treatments did not differ, nor was there an interaction between ionophores and their concentration. Dairy heifers previously fed lasalocid prefer lasalocid over monensin when given a choice; however, heifers without previous exposure to an ionophore did not indicate a preference (Exp. 2).


Biological Sciences

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Journal of Animal Science


Oxford University Press

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Copyright 2004 Journal of Animal Science