IMPROVING HINDGUT HEALTH
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Selko | Transition Management

IMPROVING HINDGUT HEALTH

Calcium gluconate increases production of energy corrected milk in dairy cows

Key take-away messages

  • A trial on 6 dairy farms involving 907 dairy cows was carried out with Selko LactiBute
  • Compared to controls, diary cows fed Selko LactiBute produced 0.8-1.0 kg of ECM extra
  • When the production of each cow was compared to the production based on her genetic potential, the differences between Selko LactiBute and controls was the same

Controlled trial with Selko LactiBute on 6 commercial dairy farms

Trials carried out with Selko LactiBute, containing rumen protected calcium gluconate, have shown a prebiotic effect within the hindgut. This results in a change of the volatile fatty acid profile in colon, cecum and rectum. Trials carried out in different research centres have shown that this effect in the hindgut translates into an increase of milk production of dairy cows[1,2,3,4]. A trial on 6 commercial dairy farms with Selko LactiBute was carried out to confirm these results.

Material and methods

The trial was carried out on 6 dairy farms in the Netherlands. A total of 907 animals were included in the analyses. A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design was used with two treatments, Selko LactiBute or negative control. Selko LactiBute was fed at a dose of 16 grams/animal/day. There were two trial periods. During the second period, the 3 dairy farms that were in the treatment group in the first period became controls and vise versa. In each trial period, there were two test days at 30 and 60 days post-inclusion.

Milk recording data for individual animals were provided by CRV and compared to expected production based on genetic potential of each dairy cow included in the trial. The CRV model takes into account a number of parameters such as month of calving, type of farm, age, production of genetically related animals, production of animals on same farm and production of animals on farms in the area.

Testday 1, day 30 Testday 2, day 60
Outcome CON LactiBute CON LactiBute
Milk 30.4 31.7 29.5 30.3*
Fat % 4.67 4.58 4.67 4.64*
Protein % 3.71 3.74 3.75 3.80†
Fat (kg) 1.40 1.41 1.34 1.38
Protein (kg) 1.10 1.16 1.08 1.13†
4% FCM (kg) 33.3 33.9 31.9 32.8
ECM (kg) 33.1 34.1 32.1 33.0†
SCC 1552 1543 1554 1553
Urea 20.6 20.9 18.9 21.7*

Table 1: Production of milk and solids and somatic cell count and urea levels in dairy cows treated with Selko LactiBute vs. untreated controls. Differences in bold are significant (asterix means P < 0.05; † means P < 0.15 within test day).

Results, animals fed Selko LactiBute vs. controls

Production parameters of dairy cows fed Selko LactiBute and control animals are presented in Table 1.

Testday 1, day 30 Testday 2, day 60
Outcome CON LactiBute CON LactiBute
Milk (kg) -1.162 -0.142 -1.221 -0.503*
Fat % 0.072 0.001 0.050 0.074*
Protein % -0.018 0.015 0.001 0.036†
Fat (g) -46.6 -31.8 -57.3 -25.4
Protein (g) -48.2 0.5 -44.1 -3.3†
4% FCM (kg) --1.153 --0.416 --1.343 -0.449†
ECM (kg) -1.227 -0.416 -1.343 -0.449†
SCS 460 654 158 228
Urea -1.80 -1.47 -3.62 -0.81*

Table 2: Actual production of milk and solids, and somatic cell count and urea levels compared to their genetic potential in dairy cows treated with Selko LactiBute and in untreated controls. Differences in bold are significant (asterix means P < 0.05; †: means P < 0.15 within test day).

Results, actual milk production compared to genetic potential

Production parameters for both the animals in the Selko LactiBute group as well as the controls were compared to their genetic potential according to the CRV model (see Table 2).

Testday 2, day 30 Testday 2, day 60
Outcome CON LactiBute Diff. CON LactiBute Diff.
ECM (kg) vs controls 33.1 kg 34.1 kg +1.0 kg 32.1 kg 33.0 kg +0.9 kg
ECM (kg) vs potential -1.227 kg -0.416 kg +0.8 kg -1.343 kg -0.449 kg +0.9 kg

Table 3: Differences in production of ECM of cows on Selko LactiBute compared to controls vs. differences in ECM production of cows on Selko LactiBute and controls, both compared to their genetic potential.

Conclusion

Both data sets show similar results (see Table 3). Actual production of dairy cows on Selko LactiBute when compared to controls and actual production of Selko LactiBute animals compared to their genetic potential vs. control animals compared to their genetic potential suggest that feeding Selko LactiBute to dairy cattle results in an increase of 0.8-1.0 kg of Energy Corrected Milk.

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References on Selko LactiBute

  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.