Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
Cows who have given birth once have high energy requirements yet are the most energetically challenged. The addition of degummed crude canola oil (DCCO) to Holstein-Fresian cows’ diets was investigated for the effect on milk yield, fat and protein contents, cow body condition score (BCS) and live weight. Dietary fat supplementation is common in other parts of the world but not typical of Australian dairy systems.
What did the research involve?
Twenty spring-calving, purebred, Holstein-Friesian cows from North West Tasmania were allocated to 4 treatments.
- Wheat-based pellet without DCCO (control)
- Wheat-based pellet with DCCO added at 25 mL/kg on (DM) basis (low)
- Wheat-based pellet with DCCO added at 35 mL/kg on DM basis (medium)
- Wheat-based pellet with DCCO added at 50 mL/kg on DM basis (high).
Cows were a single herd in a fenced paddock with access to 3000 kgDMha of a mixture of ryegrass, cocksfoot and white clover. Cows received 6 kg of pellets for 8 weeks.
What were the key findings?
Supplementing with the highest amount of DCCO gave those cows the greatest milk yield (168.7 ± 3.5 kg/week), lower fat (3.3 ± 0.1%) and protein (3.0 ± 0.09%) percentages than cows in the control group who had a milk yield of 157.1 ± 3.5 kg/week, fat (4.0 ± 0.2%) and protein (3.1 ± 0.0%).
The addition of DCCO had no negative impact on BCS and body weight gain in this pasture-based system. DCCO can be used to enhance milk yield but at the expense of milk fat and protein.