Improving hindgut health
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Selko | Transition Management

Improving hindgut health

Rumen protected potassium gluconate increases milk production of dairy cows on 3 commercial farms in France

Key take-away message

  • In a trial on 3 commercial dairy farms in France, Selko LactiBute resulted in an improvement of persistence of milk production of dairy cows
  • Differences in milk production of up to 2.7 litres of milk per day were observed

Dairy cows on Selko LactiBute perform better than predicted on their genetic potential

Selko LactiBute for dairy cows contains rumen protected calcium gluconate, which has a prebiotic effect within the hindgut. This prebiotic effect results in a shift of the microflora, resulting in increase of volatile fatty acid production in the hindgut, which improves gut barrier function and reduces the risk of leaky gut in dairy cows. Trials carried out in various dairy research farms have shown that feeding Selko LactiBute increases milk production of dairy cows1,2,3,4. These findings were confirmed in a trial carried out in 6 commercial dairy farms including 907 dairy cows. Purpose of the current trial was to test Selko LactiBute for dairy cows in 3 French farms.

Material and methods

The trial was carried out on 3 dairy farms in France. Selko LactiBute was fed at a dose of 16 grams/cow/day, for a period of 4 months. Milk recording data were compared to predicted production based on genetic potential of each of the 3 dairy herds included in the trial. This predicted production was based on data from all dairy cow records from the same genetics company that also recorded production data on all 3 dairy farms included in the trial.

Figure 1: Milk production on a dairy farm in France with 120 dairy cows compared to the predicted milk production based on genetic potential of the dairy herd.

Results, farm 1

Dairy farm 1 had 120 dairy cows that were 155 days into lactation at the start of the trial. Persistence of milk production in dairy cows on Selko LactiBute was improved, resulting in a difference in milk production of up to 1.7 kg of extra milk per cow per day (see Figure 1).

Figure 2: Milk production on a dairy farm in France with 90 dairy cows compared to the predicted milk production based on genetic potential of the dairy herd.

Results, farm 2

Dairy farm 2 had 90 dairy cows that were 138 days into lactation when the trial with Selko LactiBute started. Dairy cows on Selko LactiBute had a better persistence of milk production with a difference in milk production of up to 1.8 kg of extra milk per cow per day (see Figure 2).

Figure 3: Milk production on a dairy farm in France with 200 dairy cows compared to the predicted milk production based on genetic potential of the herd.

Results, farm 3

Dairy arm 3 had 200 dairy cattle that were 170 days into lactation when the trial started. Persistence of milk production in the dairy cattle on Selko LactiBute was improved, but when the trial was 2 months underway, respiratory disease occurred, leading to ad drop in milk production (see Figure 3). When the herd recovered, milk production in the cows on Selko LactiBute went up again, with a difference in milk production of up to 2.7 kg of extra milk per cw per day.

Conclusion

Before Selko LactiBute was fed to the dairy cows in the 3 herds, production on all 3 dairy farms was equal to the predicted production based on genetic potential of each herd. Persistence of milk production was improved during the period the cows were fed Selko LactiBute. Once Selko LactiBute was stopped, milk production dropped to a level at or even below the predicted genetic potential of the herd.

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References on Selko LactiBute for dairy cows

  1. Watanabe, D.H.M, Doelman, J, Steele, M.A, Guan, L. and G. B. Penner (2020). Evaluating the effect of Ca-gluconate and Ca-butyrate on SCFA absorption and permeability of the gastrointestinal tract. J. Anim. Sci Vol. 97, Suppl. S3.
  2. McKnight, L.L, Doelman, J, Carson, M, Waterman, D.F. and J. A. Metcalf (2018). Feeding and post-ruminal infusion of calcium gluconate to lactating dairy cows. Can. J. Anim. Sci.
  3. Doelman, J, McKnight, L.L, Carson, M, Nichols, K, Waterman, D.F. and J. A. Metcalf (2019). Post-ruminal infusion of calcium gluconate increases milk fat production and alters fecal volatile fatty acid profile in lactating dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 102:1274–1280.
  4. Seymour, D. J, Sanz-Fernandez, M.V, Daniel, J.B, Martín-Tereso, J. and J. Doelman (2020). Effects of supplemental calcium gluconate embedded in a hydrogenated fat matrix on lactation, digestive, and metabolic variables in dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 104:7845–7855.