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Impact of a dietary citrus extract on the rumination behavior of cows following social regrouping.

F. H. Padua




Impact of a dietary citrus extract on the rumination behavior of cows following social regrouping.
F. H. Padua*1, R. Bergeron1, G. Desrousseaux2, J.-F. Gabarrou2, T. J. DeVries1. 1Department of Animal Biosciences Guelph, ON, Canada, 2Phod� Terssac, France.

The objective of this study was to determine if feeding a citrus extract (CE; derived from Citrus sinensis) reduces the negative impact of social regrouping of lactating dairy cows. It was hypothesized that cows supplemented with CE would demonstrate a quicker stabilization of their rumination behavior after being moved into a new group of cows. Thirty-two multiparous (parity = 2.1 � 0.1) mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows (169.8 � 1.1 DIM) were enrolled as focal cows in this study and housed individually a tie-stall facility where they were assigned to 1 of 2 treatment diets: 1) control TMR (control; n = 16), or 2) control TMR with 4 g/d of citrus extract (VeO; Phod�, Terssac, France) (CE; n = 16). Cows were fed their experimental diets for 7 d in the tie-stall facility (P1), then moved to 1 of 2 experimental freestall pens (containing 29 other cows) for a period of 7 d (P2), where they remained on the same treatment diet as provided in the tie-stall facility. This process repeated until all 16 cows/treatment were introduced to the group pens. Data were analyzed using repeated measures mixed-linear regression models to test whether rumination varied in P2 within cow, by day, from their P1 average. In P1, CE cows consumed 27.2 � 0.4 kg/d of DM and ruminated for 490 � 9 min/d, while control cows consumed 27.7 � 0.4 kg/d of DM and ruminated for 505 � 9 min/d. In P2, CE cows ruminated 537 � 6 min/d, while control cows ruminated 519 � 6 min/d. For control cows, rumination time did not change after regrouping (P > 0.05), while for CE cows, rumination time increased after d 2 (P < 0.04). A tendency for a difference in change in rumination time (P = 0.09) was identified on d 2 after regrouping, whereas control cows were reduced by 6.3 � 21.3 min/d from their P1 average, while CE cows were increased by 46.3 � 22.0 min/d from their P1 average. The results indicate that feeding a citrus extract additive to mid-lactation dairy cows may promote a quicker stabilization of rumination behavior after regrouping.

Keywords: citrus extract, social regrouping, behavior.