UFAC – The pioneers of balanced fatty acid supply

Precision is the key to cost-effective milk production from healthy, fertile dairy cows.

UFAC – The pioneers of balanced fatty acid supply

Precision is the key to cost-effective milk production from healthy, fertile dairy cows. Here we explain how increasing the focus on the role of individual fatty acids will help you drive efficiency and exploit your milk contract.

In the current economic climate, farmers must ration cows precisely to meet their needs with every ingredient included in the diet the most effective at playing its particular role.

“When looking at the carbohydrate portion of the ration, for example, you will need to look at the supply of rapidly and slowly fermented sources to optimise rumen performance and health,” Mike Chown, UFAC UK National Sales Manager suggests.

“You wouldn’t just add carbohydrate. The same is true for fats. Each fatty acid has a unique role in the animal so you need to make sure the right fatty acids are fed in the correct balance to meet the cow’s needs at different stages of lactation. However, in many cases, fat products on offer fail to take account of this requirement.” He says for example, that many fat supplements are high in C16:0 fat. While this is effective in mid and late lactation when driving milk fat and sustaining milk yields, it is of negligible value in early lactation when the cows’ needs are for fats that help reduce negative energy balance, improve overall feed efficiency and support the immune and reproductive systems to achieve higher levels of fertility.

Mr Chown says much-publicised new research from the US confirms why farmers need to ensure cows are receiving a balanced fatty acid supply, adequate in C18:1, C18:2 and C18:3. However, he says the research ignores other essential fatty acids.

“There is no mention in the research of the essential omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are respectively C20:5 and C22:6. These play a huge role in supporting the immune function and fertility during the transition period and early lactation, influencing hormonal activity to improve egg quality and reduce early embryo loss.

“To ensure a truly balanced fatty acid supply you have to take account of all the essential fatty acids, not just some of them, and understand how the balance in their requirements by the cow will be affected by stage of lactation. Only by understanding this and tailoring supplements is it possible to ensure your cows are receiving the essential fatty acids needed to optimise performance and health throughout the lactation and control feed costs.

“At UFAC this targeted approach to fatty acid supplementation is something we are proud to have been pioneering for many years, with a range of blended products tailored to specific circumstances starting with transition cows and moving right through lactation.”

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