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TDK conference 2016

The effect of appetitive and energy demand reducing feed additives in early postpartum dairy cows
Kiss Gerda Zsuzsanna - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine, Department and Clinic of Large Animal Medicine
Supervisor: Dr. Árpád Csaba Bajcsy


During the beginning of lactation low dry matter intake and energy demand characterizes dairy cows, especially if their milk production is high. This could lead to a marked increase in the sensitivity for developing hyperketonaemia, mainly in pluriparous cows. In the praxis, several preventive methods are used, which aim to enhance dry matter intake, reduce energy demand and decrease the risk of hyperketonaemia during the peripartal period. Among them some target the improvement of feed intake and thereby also energy intake by aiming to stimulate appetite. In our current field study we aimed to test the effect of such feed additives.

The study was carried out at a West-Hungarian large-scale dairy cattle farm. Altogether 117 clinically healthy Holstein-Friesian periparturient cows with at least two previous parturitions were randomly divided into 5 groups to investigate the effect of three different feed additives (Energan Pansenstarter paste, Energan Ketose paste /Virbac/ and Lakt Start Drink /Salvana/) for their effects on rumen function, energy-metabolism and acid-base balance from 4 days prior to their expected calving until 8 days after calving. E. Pansenstarter or E. Ketose pastes were given from the day of calving daily once in form of an oral treatment until 3 or 4 consecutive days for two separate groups, respectively, while a next group received both additives simultaneously. Local treatment was represented by a single drenching of another group with Lakt Start Drink on the day of calving, while the cows of the control group did not received any treatment. Beside clinical examinations blood and urine samples were taken to measure various biochemical parameters on site, and for later laboratory measurements. By using intraruminal sensors (SmaXtec), continuous data collection could have been achieved about pH and temperature changes in the rumen content. Rumination and eating time were measured by ear sensors (CowManager).

We found that in those groups that had received only one of the Energan pastes, whole blood and plasma BHB levels were reduced and raised urine pH. While E. Pansenstarter increased and maintained rumen pH significantly (P<0.05) higher than in other groups thereby achieving the smallest daily fluctuation of this parameter and contributing so in the stabilization of the acid-base status of rumen content and in the reduction of the chance of developing metabolic acidosis, E. Ketose significantly enhanced mean rumination time (P<0.05) when compared to the controls. At the same time, if both E. pastes were given simulataneously, metabolic status of the animals did even become worse. The local treatment with Lakt Start Drink did not result in any notable beneficial effect.

Based on these, we can conclude that both E. Pansenstarter and E. Ketose pastes, if given separately, acted beneficially in moderating energy demand and reducing the risk of developing hyperketonaemia.

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