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Natural additives increase production performance of dairy cows during the summer.

F. Rennó



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Natural additives increase production performance of dairy cows during the summer.
N. Grigoletto1, M. Dias1, G. Silva1, L. Ghizzi1, A. Nunes1, T. Silva1, R. Chesini1, P. Vittorazi Junior1, J. Pettigrew2, L. Costa e Silva3, A. Koontz3, F. Rennó*1. 1University of São Paulo Pirassununga, SP, Brazil, 2James Pettigrew Consulting Nicholasville, KY, 3Alltech Inc Nicholasville, KY.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of Milk Sacc (a proprietary blend of live yeast culture, prebiotics, and organic minerals, Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY, USA) and monensin on feed intake, milk yield and composition, productive efficiency, sorting index, feed behavior, and thermal status of dairy cows during the summer (temperature means 24°C ± 1°C, relative humidity 73% ± 3% and temperature-humidity index [THI] 73 ± 1). Forty lactating Holstein cows [27.2 ± 5.25 kg/d milk yield, 187 ± 115.4 DIM, 637 ± 97.5 kg BW] were blocked by parity, DIM and milk yield. Cows within each block (n = 10) were randomly distributed to one of the following treatments: control (CO; basal diet without feed additives), monensin (MO; basal diet with 20 mg of monensin/kg DM), Milk Sacc (MS; basal diet with 40 g of Milk Sacc/cow/d), and Monensin + Milk Sacc (MM; MO and MS combined). Feed additives were added to each concentrate. The experiment lasted 11 weeks, with the 2 initial weeks used as covariate and the following 9 weeks used for sampling and data collection. Individual DMI and milk yield were recorded daily. Sorting index (the Penn State Particle Separator is characterized by 4 screens: P1 > 19 mm; P2 = 19 to 8 mm; P3 = 8 to 4 mm; P4 = closed bottom < 4 mm), feed behavior, and thermal status were evaluated every 3 weeks during 2 consecutive days. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS 9.4. Milk Sacc increased (P = 0.036) milk yield, (P = 0,028) fat-corrected milk, (P = 0,023) milk fat, (P = 0,010) protein, and (P = 0,010) lactose yields. Moreover, Milk Sacc increased DMI expressed as a percentage of BW (P = 0.022). Milk Sacc increased (P = 0.021) sorting index for particles between 8 and 19 mm and decreased (P = 0.040) for particles smaller than 4 mm when compared with control. Milk Sacc decreased (P = 0.030) time of rumination (min/d) and (P = 0,035) chewing (min/kg NDF). However, MS had no effects on thermal status. Monensin did not differ to the CO. Milk Sacc may be a useful option during the summer due its ability to increase milk yield, and milk component yields.

Keywords: heat stress, Milk Sacc, milk composition.