Three experiments were conducted to determine optimal substitution of lupin for soybean meal in dairy cattle diets; the effects of whole versus ground lupins and the effects of whole lupins versus whole soybeans on milk production were examined. In the first experiment, 57 cows were assigned randomly to treatments in blocks of five by calving order within parity. Treatments began 22 d postpartum and continued through d 140. Diets were isonitrogenously balanced using soybean meal as control: lupins replaced 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% of supplemental protein. Cows that consumed 75% of supplemental protein as lupins produced more 3.5% FCM and fat than cows that consumed the control diet. In a second experiment, 30 primiparous cows were assigned randomly by calving order to either ground or whole lupins (60% of supplemental protein). Treatments began 32 +/- 3 d after calving and lasted for 84 d. Cows that consumed ground lupins produced more milk and 3.5% FCM than cows that consumed whole lupins. In the third experiment of 84 d, 28 primiparous midlactation cows were assigned randomly to diets containing whole lupins or whole soybeans to supply 1 kg of supplemental protein. Cows fed whole lupins produced milk with higher fat content, more 3.5% FCM, and more fat than cows consuming whole soybeans. Lupins are an acceptable supplemental protein source for dairy cows.
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