RETURN COWS TO POSITIVE ENERGY BALANCE SOONER

Posted by Dr. Jim Lofton on May 11, 2022 1:39:08 PM

The critical element in how well cows fare after calving is energy balance. This in turn has several key components, namely length and extent of negative energy balance, dry matter intake (DMI), and body condition status.

Although the return to positive energy balance after calving varies considerably, the main factor in when this occurs is not milk production level, as many believe. In fact, researchers found that the time required to reach positive energy balance is independent of milk yield. Rather, the most important factor is net energy of lactation (NEL) intake, which is the product of DMI x energy density of the diet.

Since it is difficult to increase DMI in early lactation, the component to alter is energy, as long as it does not reduce DMI. When calcium soaps of fatty acids (CSFA) are used to increase energy density, intake is reduced, which results in more time to reach positive energy balance as seen in Figure 1 for first-calf heifers and in Figure 2 for older cows. The differences in intake between the Energy Booster 100 (EB-100) and the CSFA ration are based on NRC 2001,7 which established that a 1% inclusion of CSFA reduced DMI by 2.5%. This difference translates into heifers and cows fed an EB-100 ration achieving positive energy balance 30 days sooner than when fed CSFA.

Figure 1.

Figure 2. 

Loss of body condition and the corresponding rising non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels are further evidence of CSFA’s negative effect on energy balance. The best physiological indicator of energy balance is plasma NEFA levels. The more body condition mobilized, the greater the NEFA level. NEFA levels have been shown to increase as dietary CSFA levels increase,2 to be greater in mid-lactation first-calf heifers averaging 80 pounds daily milk production when fed CSFA vs. EB-100,6 and to be greater in mid-lactation older cows averaging 93 pounds daily milk production when fed CSFA vs. EB-100.4

So how does lower NEL intake due to decreased DMI affect productivity? Using NRC 2001 NEL values to calculate the effect of energy intake loss on milk yield, inclusion of CSFA trans- lates to reduced milk yield of 5 to 8.5 lb per day, which totals 1,100 lb over the first 140 DIM. If the reduced energy intake is instead converted into body weight loss, the range of daily loss ranges from about 0.75 to 1.33 lb, or a total of 176 lb over the first 140 DIM. In reality, some combination of both milk and body weight loss likely will occur. This energy deficit also negatively impacts reproduction because energy balance during the first 3 to 4 weeks postpartum is correlated with interval to first postpartum ovulation.

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

THE IMPORTANCE OF NET ENERGY INTAKE AND REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE

Posted by Dr. Jim Lofton on Apr 26, 2022 10:57:44 AM

 

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

HOW DO YOU VALUE YOUR BYPASS FAT?

Posted by Dr. Jim Lofton on Mar 15, 2022 12:17:19 PM

 

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

EVALUATING BYPASS FAT PRODUCTS IN THE ERA OF HIGH FEED COSTS

Posted by Richard Shepardson, M.S. on Feb 2, 2022 3:43:18 PM

 

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

FEEDING RUMEN-BYPASS METHIONINE IN TRANSITION AND EARLY LACTATION COWS

Posted by Richard Shepardson, M.S. on Dec 8, 2021 12:25:17 PM

 

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

Bypass Fats and Dairy Cow Reproduction

Posted by Dr. Jim Lofton on Nov 3, 2021 2:20:06 PM

What should you expect from your bypass fat supplement?

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

MAXIMIZING MILK FAT WITH DE NOVO FATTY ACIDS

Posted by Richard Shepardson, M.S. and Matthew Sellers, Ph.D on Nov 12, 2020 11:09:15 AM

Maximizing milk fat is an important key to profitability on dairy farms. Milk fat is derived from two sources – de novo fatty acids (FA), which are synthesized directly in the mammary gland from short-chain FA, also known as volatile FA, and preformed FA that are transferred to the mammary gland directly from plasma and originate primarily from the diet. Recent research has shown that increasing de novo FA concentrations in milk is correlated with increases in overall milk fat concentration. There are many ways in which a farm can promote high de novo FA concentration in their herd including forage management, providing fresh and well-mixed feed, improving rumen health, and other nutrition and management strategies. Dairies looking to improve or maintain their bulk tank fat test should consider assessing and implementing this on farm.  

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

ON FARM NECROPSY: 3 KEY ELEMENTS OF A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Posted by Elizabeth Marvel on Oct 12, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Unfortunately, mortality is a reality we must face when raising milk fed calves. Necropsy is a post-mortem evaluation done to assess the cause of death. Many people believe necropsies are only performed to determine cause of death, but there are additional insights we can gain from this procedure. With on farm necropsy, we can gain insight on how well the overall operation is performing.  

 

There are three key elements to focus on when performing a necropsy on milk fed calves that can be used to evaluate potential management opportunities.  

 

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

HIGH PURITY FAT SUPPLEMENTS AND THEIR IMPACT ON DIGESTIBILITY

Posted by Richard Shepardson, M.S. and Matthew Sellers, Ph.D on Sep 13, 2020 4:30:00 PM

Commercial fat supplements for dairy cows containing varying ratios of palmitic (PA; C16:0), stearic (SA; C18:0), and oleic acids (OA; C18:1) are common in modern lactating dairy rations. Some commercial supplements contain a blend of multiple fatty acids (e.g. PA + OA, PA + SA), whereas other supplements may be highly enriched in just a single fatty acid (FA). The profile of a supplement largely impacts FA digestibility. Recent research reports that supplemental fats that are highly enriched (>90%) in either PA or SA have very low digestibility compared to supplements that are of moderate (~80-85%) or low enrichment (<60% of a particular FA). When choosing a supplemental fat feeding strategy, FA profile should be taken into account in order to maintain adequate digestibility and thereby maximize return on investment.

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION

IS IT OKAY FOR THE GRAIN BUCKET TO BE EMPTY?

Posted by Milk Specialties Technical Experts on Sep 3, 2020 12:45:43 PM

Before we answer if it is okay for the grain bucket to be empty, let us go over the importance of starter intake for pre-weaned calves. Pre-weaned dairy calves need starter grain to initiate rumen development. Bacteria in the rumen begin to utilize nutrients from the starter grain and produce volatile fatty acids that assist with rumen development and feed intakes. To maximize starter grain consumption, it is essential to understand how much calves will eat and what factors might impede consumption of starter grain.

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Topics: ANIMAL NUTRITION