Posted by Richard Shepardson, M.S. and Matthew Sellers, Ph.D on Jun 22, 2020 10:25:09 AM
FAT FEEDING DURING HEAT STRESS: EFFECTS OF SUPPLEMENTAL FAT
Fat is added to many dairy rations at all times of the year to increase energy density of the ration, improve milk and component production, and help with reproductive success. During times of heat stress, adding fat to a ration makes sense because it can help maintain energy in a diet without taking up much space.
Fat is found in most feedstuffs but is greatest in oil seeds such as soybeans and cottonseed. An issue with fat from corn and oil seeds is that it is highly unsaturated, and while the rumen has the capacity to biohydrogenate the majority of these unsaturated FA back to saturated FA as predominantly stearic acid (SA; C18:0), too much can be detrimental to rumen health. Overloading the rumen with unsaturated FA can lead to milk fat depression. Large amounts of unsaturated FA also decrease dry matter intake, which could exacerbate the intake losses already occurring during heat stress. Saturated FA, such as SA and palmitic acid (PA; C16:0) do not have negative effects on rumen health and typically do not decrease dry matter intake.
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Topics: Animal Nutrition