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Selko | Dairy Performance

TRACE MINERAL MANAGEMENT

The impact of trace mineral source on fibre digestibility and milk production of dairy cows

The impact of trace mineral source on fibre digestibility in dairy cows

The effect of trace mineral source on NDF digestibility has been studied by several authors[1,2,3,4,5,6] in dairy cows and beef on a low forage diets and high forage diets. A meta-analysis of 11 studies[7] showed that the effect on NDF digestibility varied depending on the method chosen. Studies using total collection methods showed an increase of + 2.80 + 0.44 units (P<0.01), studies using uNDF240 as a marker tended to result in an increase of +1.70 + 0.67 units (p=0.06) whereas studies using an in-situ incubation method did not show a difference.

What are the effects of improved fibre digestibility on production of volatile fatty acids in the rumen?

Increased fermentation in the rumen can be of benefit, if more VFA are absorbed, generating more energy substrate available for production purposes. In a trial by Guimares et all[8], feeding INtelliBond hydroxy trace minerals instead of sulphates resulted in an increase of VFA production of 21% resulting in an increase in propionate production of 15%. The effect of replacing sulfate trace minerals by IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals on total VFA production is however not always observed. This could partly be explained by the difficulty of assessing total VFA production accurately.

Figure 1: Milk production in kg/day in cows supplemented with sulphates, a mixture of sulphates and organic trace minerals or with hydroxy trace minerals


Does this improved fibre digestibility and increased production of VFA’s result in an increase in milk production?


A study carried out by Oba et al[9] has shown that each one-point difference in NDF digestibility can represent 0.25 to 0.3 kg of daily Energy Corrected milk production.

In a trial carried out by Cornell University[10], milk production was increased in early lactation cows fed IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals compared to cows fed sulphates or cows fed a mixture of organic trace minerals and sulphates. NDF digestibility was however not tested in this study.

It should be noted that since milk yield response to energy supply is not linear and decreases with increasing energy supply, it would be expected that greater NDF digestibility would increase milk yield mainly when energy supply is below requirement. Indeed, if a diet already provides energy in excess of requirement, additional energy from increased NDF digestibility would not be expected to increase milk yield.

Feed efficiency of dairy cows is a key driver of dairy farm profitability

Feeding IntelliBond trace minerals improves digestibility of fibre in the diet, enabling cows to produce more milk out of the same amount of feed.

Learn more about how Selko IntelliBond helps to improve fibre digestibility to optimize performance

Total-tract digestibility and milk productivity of dairy cows as affected by trace mineral sources

IntelliBond research carried out by Jean Baptiste Daniel and his co-workers studied the effects of trace mineral source on NDF digestibility, production of VFA, milk yield and milk fat production. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Dairy Science[11].

Material and methods

Using 52 Holstein cows in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with periods of 21 days, 4 treatments differing in their sources of Cu, Zn, and Mn were tested: sulphate form (STM), IntelliBond hydroxy form (HTM), a mix of sulfate and organic chelate forms (70 and 30%, respectively, STM70/OTM30), and a mix of IntelliBond hydroxy and organic chelate forms (70 and 30%, respectively, HTM70/OTM30).

Figure 2: Effect of trace mineral source on NDF digestibility.

Results, NDF digestibility

The effect of the different sources of trace minerals on NDF digestibility are presented in Figure 2. NDF digestibility was the highest in the hydroxy trace mineral group.

Results, total VFA and proprionate production

Total VFA and propionate production are presented in Figures 3 and 4. Both the VFA production and the production of propionate were the lowest in the sulphate group and the highest in the animals fed a mixture of 70% IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals and 30% organic trace minerals.

Figure 3: Effect of trace mineral source on total VFA production.
Figure 4: Effect of trace mineral source on propionate production.

Figure 5: Effect of trace mineral source on ECM yield in the multiparous cows.

Results, Energy Corrected Milk

Energy Corrected Milk yield in the primiparous cows was not different between the groups, whereas there were differences between the Energy Corrected Milk Yield of the multiparous cows with the animals fed a mixture of 70% IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals and 30% organic trace minerals having the highest milk production (see Figure 5).

Figure 6: Effect of trace mineral source on milk fat production of multiparous cows.

Results, production of milk fat

The animals fed a mixture of 70% IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals and 30% organic trace minerals also had the highest production of milk fat (see Figure 6).

Conclusion

Significant differences in NDF digestibility were found between the different groups. These differences resulted in an increased production of Energy Corrected Milk which was only significant in the multiparous cows.

Key take aways from this article

  • Feeding IntelliBond hydroxy trace minerals instead of sulphates results in an improvement of rumen health of dairy cows
  • Improved rumen function in dairy cows fed hydroxy trace minerals results in improved NDF digestibility and an increase in volatile fatty acids
  • Avoiding the negative effects of sulphate trace minerals leads to an increase in milk production of dairy cattle

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Daniel et al 2020 Total-tract digestibility and milk productivity of dairy cows as affected by trace mineral sources

Trace minerals such as Cu, Zn, and Mn are essential to life, and their deficiencies in livestock result in health deterioration. In an effort to prevent such deficiencies, dairy cows are commonly supplemented with Cu, Zn, and Mn. Various sources of trace minerals are used for this purpose, with inorganic sources (oxides, chlorides, sulfates, and carbonates) being the most commonly supplemented to dairy cows.

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References

  1. Faulkner, M.J. and W.P. Weiss (2017). Effect of source of trace minerals in either forage- or by-product-based diets fed to dairy cows: 1. Production and macronutrient digestibility, Journal of Dairy Science 100:5358-53-67.
  2. Miller, M.D, Lanier, J.S, Kvidera, S.K, Dann, H.M, Ballard, C.S. and R.J. Grant (2020). Evaluation of source of corn silage and trace minerals on lactational performance and total-tract nutrient digestibility in Holstein cows. J. Dairy Sci., 103:3147-3160.
  3. Guimaraes, O, Jalali, S, Wagner, T, Spears, J and T. Engle (2019). The influence of trace mineral source on fiber digestion, rumen fermentation characteristics, and mineral solubility in beef cattle fed a low-quality forage diet. J. An. Science. 97, Issue Supp. 3: 167.
  4. Guimaraes, O, Wagner, T, Spears, J and T. Engle (2020). Influence of trace mineral source on digestion, ruminal volatile fatty acid and soluble mineral on steers fed a dairy type diet balanced to meet requirements for a high producing lactating dairy cow. J. An. Science. 98, Issue Supp. 3: 133–134.
  5. Caldera, C.E, Weigel, B, Kucharczyk, V.N, Sellins, K.S, Archibeque, S.L, Wagner, J.J, Han, H, Spears, J.B. and T.E. Engle (2019). Trace mineral source influences ruminal distribution of copper and zinc and their binding strength to ruminal digesta. J. Anim. Sci., 97:1852-1864.
  6. Guimaraes, O, Jalali, S, Wagner, J.J, Spears, J.W, and T.E. Engle (2021). Trace mineral source impacts rumen trace mineral metabolism and fiber digestion in steers fed a medium-quality grass hay diet. J. An. Science, 99(9): 1–7.
  7. Ibraheem, M, Kvidera, S, and B. Bradford (2021). Meta-analysis to determine the impact of the trace mineral source on nutrient digestibility in dairy and beef animals. J. Dairy Sci. 104, suppl. 1: 244.
  8. Guimaraes, O, Jalali, S, Wagner, J.J, Spears, J.W, and T.E. Engle (2021). Trace mineral source impacts rumen trace mineral metabolism and fiber digestion in steers fed a medium-quality grass hay diet. J. An. Science, 99(9): 1–7.
  9. Oba, M. and M.S. Allen (1999). Evaluation of the Importance of the Digestibility of Neutral Detergent Fiber from Forage: Effects on Dry Matter Intake and Milk Yield of Dairy Cows. J. Dairy Sci., 99:589-596.
  10. Yasui, T, Ryan, C.M, Gilbert, R.O, Perryman, K.R. and T. R. Overton (2014). Effects of hydroxy trace minerals on oxidative metabolism, cytological endometritis, and performance of transition dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 97: 3728-3738.
  11. Daniel, J.B, Kvidera, S.K. and J. Martín-Tereso (2020). Total-tract digestibility and milk productivity of dairy cows as affected by trace mineral sources. J. Dairy Sci. 103 (10).