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Effects of an isoquinoline alkaloids-based product on performance milk yield and components of lactating dairy cows.

C. Audonnet




Effects of an isoquinoline alkaloids-based product on performance milk yield and components of lactating dairy cows.
C. Audonnet*1, N. Cebron2, J. Poyedessus2, L. Leleu2, H. Bezille1, S. Bas3, G. Foucras2. 1Feedeal SAS Bourgbarr�, France, 2IHAP, Universit� de Toulouse, INRAE, ENVT Toulouse, France, 3Phytobiotics Futterzusatzstoffe GmbH Eltville, Germany.

Improving animal health and welfare with no chemical input while achieving high milk yield is a difficult task in modern dairy production systems. To this end, many solutions have been tested with uncertain results. Plant-derived products have been favorably used in several species, but scarce data are available on their effects on dairy cattle performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a plant-based product derived from Macleaya cordata containing standardized concentrations of isoquinoline alkaloids (IQs) on performance and udder health of lactating dairy cows. Primiparous (PRIM; n = 84) and multiparous (MULT; n = 602) cows from 18 commercials herds in France were evaluated. Cows were matched by lactation number, previous lactation milk yield and SCC (MULT) within farms, and were randomly allocated to receive 2 boluses containing IQs (IQS; n = 343) or to serve as a control (CON; n = 343). Boluses were designed to release an equivalent of 37.5 mg/d of IQs for 60 d, and 18.75 mg/d of IQs thereafter for 3 mo following administration. Boluses were administered during the close-up period, approximately 21 d before the expected date of calving. Data (milk yield, fat and protein, urea, SCC) from the first 5 official milk test-days were collected and analyzed retrospectively. Statistical analyses were performed using R software (v3.5.1). Results show that raw and energy-corrected milk yields were greater (two-way ANOVA, P < 0.05) in IQS cows with a mean increase over than 1.5 kg. No difference in milk fat, protein, and urea concentrations were observed. Overall, mean SCC was lower (50 � 103 cells/mL; Two-way ANOVA, P < 0.05), and the prevalence of cows with subclinical mastitis (SCC ≥250 � 103cells/mL) was lower (P < 0.05) in the IQS group on milk test-days during the first 4 mo of lactation. These results show that administration of a plant-based product with standardized concentrations of IQs during the transition period and early lactation can be regarded as a strategy to improve productivity and to reduce SCC in dairy cows.

Keywords: transition, isoquinoline alkaloids, performance.