Eighteen primiparous and 42 multiparous Holstein cows were blocked according to parity and expected calving date and assigned randomly to 1 of 3 dietary treatments: 1) a basal diet (negative control), 2) the basal diet plus 2-hydroxy-4-methylthio butanoic acid isopropyl ester (MetaSmart, Adisseo Inc., Antony, France), or 3) the basal diet plus rumen-protected Met (Smartamine M, Adisseo Inc., Alpharetta, GA). Treatments were initiated 21 d before expected calving and continued through 140 d postpartum. Diets were similar in ingredient and chemical composition, except for the content of Met in metabolizable protein. MetaSmart [0.35% prepartum and 0.54% postpartum in diet dry matter (DM)] and Smartamine M (0.06% prepartum and 0.10% postpartum in diet DM) were added to the basal diet in amounts needed to achieve a 3.0:1 ratio of Lys to Met in metabolizable protein. Prepartum DM intake (DMI; 13.5 kg/d), body weight (687 kg), body condition score (3.81), postpartum milk yield (42.0 kg/d), milk fat yield (1,549 g/d), milk fat content (3.66%), milk true protein yield (1,192 g/d), and milk urea N content (12.9 mg/dL) were not different among treatments. Postpartum DMI and body condition score were greater and the ratios of milk:DMI and milk N:feed N were less for cows fed the MetaSmart diet than for cows fed the control and Smartamine M diets. Milk protein content was greater for the Smartamine M (2.87%) and MetaSmart (2.81%) treatments than for the control treatment (2.72%). Concentrations of Met and Met + Cys in total plasma AA were different among treatments, with values for the Smartamine M treatment being the highest, followed by the MetaSmart and control treatments. The results indicated that both MetaSmart and Smartamine M are effective in providing metabolizable Met, but clarification of their relative contributions to metabolizable Met is still needed.
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