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Effects of feeding fish meal and n-3 fatty acids on milk yield and metabolic responses in early lactating dairy cows.


The study was designed to test the effects of feeding fish meal (FM) and specific n-3 fatty acids on milk yield and composition, dry matter intake, plasma concentrations of metabolic hormones and metabolites, and liver triglyceride accumulation in early lactating cows. From 5 to 50 d in milk (DIM), cows were fed diets that were isonitrogenous, isoenergetic, and isolipidic containing none (control), 1.25, 2.5, or 5% menhaden FM or 2.3% Ca salts of fish oil fatty acids (CaFOFA). Milk yield (48.2, 49.8, 48.6, 53.5, and 52.2 +/- 1.0 kg/d, respectively) and dry matter intake (22.7, 22.8, 23.0, 23.8, and 24.7 +/- 0.5 kg/d, respectively) differed among diets. Average daily plasma glucose concentration (53.4, 55.3, 51.1, 57.6, and 57.3 +/- 1.3 mg/dL, respectively) was also affected by diet, and plasma insulin concentration was increased by 5% FM and 2.3% Ca-FOFA. At 25 and 50 DIM, blood was collected before feeding and hourly for 11 h after feeding. Plasma glucose concentrations in cows during the day were similar among diets at 25 DIM, but differed at 50 DIM (54.6, 54.4, 52.4, 60.5, and 58.3 +/- 1.4 mg/dL for 0, 1.25, 2.5, and 5% FM or 2.3% CaFOFA, respectively). Plasma insulin was increased in cows fed 5% FM and 2.3% CaFOFA at 25 DIM and was similar among diets at 50 DIM. Dietary treatments had no significant effect on milk composition, energy balance, or on daily plasma concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and urea. Plasma aspartate aminotransferase and hepatic triglyceride concentration in cows did not differ among diets at 21 DIM. Results from this experiment demonstrate that dietary supplementation with FM or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in early lactating dairy cows significantly increased milk yield and DMI with no change in milk composition.


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  • Authors

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    Journal of dairy science 90:1 2007 Jan pg 136-44


    Blood Chemical Analysis
    Body Constitution
    Body Weight
    Dietary Supplements
    Fatty Acids, Omega-3
    Fish Products
    Time Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Controlled Clinical Trial
    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



    PubMed ID