Effects of feeding propionate and calcium salts of long-chain fatty acids on transition dairy cow performance.J Dairy Sci. 2005 Mar; 88(3):983-93.JD
Multiparous Holstein cows (n = 40) were used in a randomized complete block design to determine the effects of feeding Ca and Na salts (1:1, wt/wt) of propionate and Ca salts of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) on transition cow performance. All cows were fed the same basal diet once daily for ad libitum intake. Treatments (g/d) were 320 cornstarch (CS) as a control, 120 propionate (PRO), 120 propionate and 93 LCFA (PF1), and 178 propionate and 154 LCFA (PF2). Treatments were hand-mixed into the upper one-third of the TMR from 2 wk pre- through 3 wk postpartum. Intakes were recorded from 21 d pre- through 21 d postpartum. Energy density and crude protein were 1.54 and 1.65 Mcal/kg and 14.4 and 18.8% for pre- and postpartum diets, respectively. All cows received a common diet from 22 to 70 days in milk (DIM). Milk composition was analyzed on d 7, 14, and 21. Blood was sampled at 14, 7, and 2 d prepartum and 2, 7, 14, and 21 DIM. Pre- and postpartal dry matter intake (DMI) averaged 11.9 and 16.4 kg/d, respectively, and did not differ among treatments. A diet x week interaction for postpartal DMI was observed as cows fed PF2 consumed 2 kg/d less DM during wk 2 relative to other treatments. Milk yields from 22 to 70 DIM were 48.8, 48.5, 47.8, and 51.3 kg/d for CS, PRO, PF1, and PF2, respectively, and were not significantly affected by treatments. Milk true protein (3.32 vs. 3.16%) was increased and MUN (12.5 vs. 14.4 mg/dL) was decreased for CS relative to other treatments. Milk fat yield from cows fed PRO tended to be greater than those fed PF1 (1.58 vs. 1.29 kg/d). Plasma glucose, insulin, and beta-hydroxybutyrate were not affected by treatments. The PF2 treatment tended to decrease NEFA in plasma relative to PF1 over all times measured (492 and 670 muEq/L) and significantly decreased plasma NEFA relative to those fed PF1 postpartum (623 and 875 muEq/L). Relative to PF1, feeding propionate and LCFA at the higher level in this experiment improved energy balance postpartum as evidenced by decreased concentrations of plasma NEFA.