Short communication: Effects of prill size of a palmitic acid-enriched fat supplement on the yield of milk and milk components, and nutrient digestibility of dairy cows.J Dairy Sci. 2017 Jan; 100(1):379-384.JD
The objective of our experiment was to evaluate the effects of prill size of a palmitic acid-enriched fatty acid supplement (PA; 85% C16:0) on feed intake, nutrient digestibility, and production responses of dairy cows. Twenty-four primiparous and multiparous Holstein cows were assigned based on parity and production level to replicated 4×4 Latin squares balanced for carryover effects with 21-d periods. Treatments were a control diet (no added PA), or 2.0% PA added as a small prill size (PA-SM; 284±12.4µm), a medium prill size (PA-MD; 325±14.7µm), or a large prill size (PA-LG; 600±17.4µm) supplement. Overall, PA treatments increased milk fat content (4.25 vs. 3.99%), milk fat yield (1.48 vs. 1.39kg/d), 3.5% fat-corrected milk (39.2 vs. 37.7kg/d), and improved feed efficiency (fat-corrected milk:dry matter intake; 1.51 vs. 1.42) compared with control. Compared with control, PA treatments did not affect dry matter intake, body weight, body condition score, or yields of milk, protein, and lactose. The PA treatments increased neutral detergent fiber digestibility (44.8 vs. 42.4%) and reduced the digestibility of 16-carbon fatty acids (72.3 vs. 79.1%) and total fatty acids (76.6 vs. 80.3%). Compared with control, PA treatments reduced the contents of de novo synthesized milk fatty acids (23.0 vs. 25.8g/100g of fatty acids) and preformed milk fatty acids (36.3 vs. 39.1g/100g of fatty acids), but did not affect their yields. In contrast, PA treatments increased the content (40.8 vs. 35.1g/100g of fatty acids) and yield (570 vs. 436g/d) of 16-carbon milk fatty acids compared with control. The PA prill size had no effect on dry matter intake, yield of milk and milk components, or feed efficiency. However, PA-LG tended to increase milk fat content compared with PA-SM (4.28 vs. 4.22%), and it increased 16-carbon fatty acid digestibility compared with PA-MD (74.2 vs. 71.0%) and PA-SM (74.2 vs. 71.7%). Additionally, PA-LG increased total fatty acid digestibility compared with PA-MD (78.1 vs. 75.6%) and PA-SM (78.1 vs. 76.0%). Results demonstrate that PA increased milk fat content and yield, and feed efficiency. Reducing prill size decreased fatty acid digestibility, but it had no effect on animal performance under the dietary conditions and prill sizes evaluated.