Galaxy: Boost fertility and milk yield

Improving fertility is an important objective on all dairy farms. New research shows that feeding long- chain Ω-3 fatty acids can give fertility a boost.

Galaxy: Boost fertility and milk yield

Improving fertility is an important objective on all dairy farms. New research shows that feeding long- chain Ω-3 fatty acids can give fertility a boost.

Silvestre (J. Dairy Sci. 94:189-204) compared embryo retention when cows were fed different fats in transition and early lactation (e.g. in graph, SAT – Ω-3 means saturated fats in transition, then Ω-3 in early lactation). The graph shows feeding Ω-3 fatty acids significantly reduces the number of pregnancies lost. The long-chain Ω-3 fatty acids increase production of progesterone and reduce prostaglandin f2α, improving embryo implantation and reducing the loss of fertilised eggs.

Galaxy from UFAC UK is based on fish oils, containing high levels of long-chain Ω-3 fatty acids. A trial on a 9000 litre herd in Gloucestershire showed clearly that Galaxy improved fertility and maintained milking performance when compared to an alternative fat product.

Golden Flake GALAXY
Yield/litres  28.9 29.6
Days in milk 189 186
Butterfat % 3.64 3.70
Protein % 3.16 3.13

Yields were boosted and, importantly, butterfat levels were maintained. Concern is occasionally expressed that fish oil reduces butterfats. However, the effective rumen-inert matrix pioneered by UFAC UK prevents this happening.

The information collected on fertility showed that Galaxy improved reproductive efficiency. Increasing the number of cows holding to first service reduced both days open and the number of straws used. An estimate for this farm put potential savings at £80 per cow.

Golden Flake GALAXY
Held to 1st service 16% 50%
Held to 2nd service 50% 17%
Held to 3rd service 0 17%
Still not in calf  34% 16%

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