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Effects of abomasal infusion of long-chain fatty acids on intake, feeding behavior and milk production in dairy cows

Benson, J. A., Reynolds, C. K., Humphries, D. J., Rutter, S. M. and Beever, D. E. (2001) Effects of abomasal infusion of long-chain fatty acids on intake, feeding behavior and milk production in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 84 (5). pp. 1182-1191. ISSN 0022-0302

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(01)74579-1


Fat is often fed to dairy cows to increase the energy concentration of their diet; however, feeding fat often reduces dry matter intake (DMI), which limits its impact on metabolizable energy (ME) intake. To investigate the effects of postruminal fat infusion on intake, feeding behavior, and milk production of dairy cows at two stages of lactation (55 and 111 d postpartum), six Holstein x British Friesian cows were infused into the abomasum, with a mixture of rapeseed and sunflower oils supplying predominantly unsaturated long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Dry matter intake was significantly depressed by oil infusion, but estimated ME intake was unchanged, and thus there was no effect of oil infusion on milk yield. There was no effect of stage of lactation on the DM or ME intake response to oil infusion. Milk fat concentration was increased by oil infusion in mid-lactation but not in early lactation, suggesting that the infused LCFA were utilized differently in early compared with midlactation. Cows spent an average of 654 min idling, 462 min ruminating, and 248 min eating during the last 22.8 h of each infusion. There were no significant effects of oil infusion or stage of lactation on the total time spent engaged in these activities. An assessment of the circadian pattern of feeding behavior suggested that the depression in DMI in response to oil infusion occurred after the 1630 and 2230 h feeding times. This may reflect differences in mechanisms regulating feed intake behavior and appetite during the day. Comparison of the results of the present study with the results of other trials involving postruminal fat infusion suggests that polyunsaturated nonesterified fatty acids have the most potent effect on DMI intake.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Animal Sciences > Animal, Dairy and Food Chain Sciences (ADFCS)- DO NOT USE
ID Code:90832
Uncontrolled Keywords:fat, dairy cows, intake, rumination
Publisher:American Dairy Science Association

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