Ensure you are feeding the correct fat this winter

Many dairy farmers are considering using fats in diets this winter to help complement lower energy grass silages and to potentially boost butterfat percent.

Ensure you are feeding the correct fat this winter

Many dairy farmers are considering using fats in diets this winter to help complement lower energy grass silages and to potentially boost butterfat percent. Now new research confirms the choice of fat can have a significant effect of how successful these strategies will be as Mike Chown of UFAC UK explains.

“To be effective in dairy diets fats have to pass through the rumen to be absorbed in the intestine,” Mike comments. “This is termed being ‘rumen inert’, and the more inert the product is the better and fats vary considerably in this regard.”

Mike explains that factors such as melting point and particle size will impact on how well fats are used and now new UK research shows that fats based on vegetable and marine oils have a significant nutritional advantage over more traditional calcium soap products In the research at the University of Reading CEDAR, cows were fed different fat products and the rate at which the products left the rumen was recorded.

“If a fat moves through the rumen quickly it means it is not being digested or broken down in the rumen. This means more will be available to the cow. Fast movement through the rumen is particularly important with high yielding cows expected to achieve high dry matter intakes.”

In the trials UFAC Dynalac and Galaxy both performed better than calcium soaps, moving through the rumen more quickly and making more energy available to the cow.

“This is a significant result as it confirms what we had always observed on farm,” Mike continues. “The unique method UFAC uses to protect our oils and fats delivers superior rumen protection and enhance their utilisation by the animal, which means more effective cows, and potentially higher margins and better butterfats.”

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