Meeting the cow’s requirements

Is it possible to feed one fat supplement to cows milked as a single group as requirements vary with the stage of lactation? UFACs David Bonsall explains how Supa-Cream fits the bill.

Meeting the cow’s requirements

Is it possible to feed one fat supplement to cows milked as a single group as requirements vary with the stage of lactation? UFACs David Bonsall explains how Supa-Cream fits the bill.

Fat supplements supply an essential boost to the diets of cows at all stages of lactation though the cow’s requirements will vary during lactation.

In early lactation the objectives are to optimise dry matter intake and energy supply to help ensure that body condition losses are minimised. We also need to ensure cows are highly fertile and ready to breed. In mid and late lactation, the focus should be to increase butterfat production. Throughout lactation cows need to maintain a strong and efficient immune system, which is especially critical in early lactation.

Correct fats

Fats can play a key role in each of these objectives, but the fatty acids required for each of these objectives vary. Feeding the wrong fat supplement can actually have a negative impact.

For example, single source C16:0 fats can play a role in pushing up butterfat levels, making it a good candidate in mid-and late lactation. In early lactation it can lead to increased loss of body condition which we need to avoid. Also C16:0 fats contribute nothing to support the immune and fertility systems.

However, research shows that feeding a balanced fatty acid source makes it possible to support the cow throughout the whole lactation and this is what Supa-Cream has been developed to do. While it contains a proportion of C16:0 to boost butterfat and increase energy density, the addition of other fatty acids supports other key functions in the animal.

Perfect balance

Supa-Cream contains the correct ratio of C18:1 to C16:0 as the C18:1 plays a crucial role in improving the digestibility of all fats in the diet and helps maintain body condition in early lactation.

The inclusion of Glycerine further improves fatty acid absorption and provides crucial glucogenic energy. As well as reducing body condition loss, it also helps prevent the incidence of ketosis, particularly in early lactation. To help cows maintain an effective immune system and boost fertility, Supa-Cream includes long chain omega 3’s (EPA and DHA) from marine oil, the most effective source.

Supa-Cream is an efficient all round fatty acid supplement, meeting the cows requirements as they move through stages of lactation. This makes it the ideal choice for the management systems where cows are housed in a single milking group. At 32MJ ME/kgDM it boosts ration energy density and being rumen inert does not compromise rumen health.

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