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Research Confirms the Effectiveness of Phibro Products in Enhancing Dairy Cow Health and Productivity
July 2, 2018

Dairy cattle face immunological stressors every day, on virtually every dairy operation. Environmental factors such as weather, transportation and feed and forage challenges, as well as the changes that occur at dry-off and calving, can have a dramatic and negative impact on herd health and productivity.

The impacts of such stressors, and the effects of OmniGen-AF® nutritional specialty product in mitigating them, was a prevalent theme of research presented at the 2018 American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) meeting held this June in Knoxville, Tennessee, to 1,900 dairy industry stakeholders.

Phibro supported research studies conducted by University of Florida (“Effect of heat stress and OmniGen-AF on mammary gland expression and endocrine responses in the dry period”), University of Georgia (“Udder health, milk production and longevity parameters across three OmniGen-AF feeding trials”) and California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo (“Effects of feeding OmniGen-AF on energy metabolism, fecal cortisol metabolites and markers of immunity in overcrowded, lactating Holstein dairy cows”).

The effects of OmniGen-AF are measurable through indicators including body temperature, dry matter intake, respiration and milk yields.

Collectively, these studies concluded that OmniGen-AF is an effective strategy in helping to mitigate the effects of stress on dairy herd health and productivity. Conclusions indicated:

  • Feeding OmniGen-AF during early lactation, dry period and late lactation helps cows respond to stressors by maintaining the immune and metabolic systems at a steady state. This consistency helps support cow health and productivity.
  • Feeding OmniGen-AF at least 60 days prior to calving helps to maintain udder health and improve somatic cell counts in first lactation and multiparous cows.
  • By supporting normal glucose metabolism, OmniGen-AF helps mitigate the negative effects of overcrowding on immunity and energy metabolism in dairy cows.

“While every dairy, and every cow, is unique, all are susceptible to compromised health and reduced productivity, when faced with stress,” says David Kirk, Ph.D., PAS, Phibro Director, Dairy Technical Services, North America. “This research shows that OmniGen-AF helps manage stress and supports healthy immune function, which enables dairy cows to better resist and overcome stressors to achieve their full production potential.”

Animate® — A Closer Look at Subclinical Hypocalcemia

Immunological stressors weren’t the only challenges to be evaluated and presented at this year’s ADSA meeting.

Phibro Animal Health Corporation also supported a study conducted by S.A. Armstrong, S.S. Bascom, G.A. Holub and D.E. Nuzback to identify factors impacting prevalence of subclinical hypocalcemia on commercial dairies. The group concluded that subclinical hypocalcemia is more predominant in older cows and the prevalence rate is influenced by sampling time. Prevalence of SCH is decreased when cows are fed diets with a prepartum dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD) lower than (more acidogenic) +11mEq/100g DM.

The takeaway: Balancing DCAD diets for transition cows is an effective tool for alleviating subclinical hypocalcemia.

Six additional abstracts were accepted from an experiment examining the effects of feeding a fully acidified prefresh diet using Animate as the sole source of anions with either low or high dietary calcium content (95, M81, M193, M194, T45 and T46). Three treatment diets were fed:

1) CON: A positive DCAD diet with low dietary Ca (0.4% DM)
2) LOW: A fully acidified DCAD diet (urine pH 5.7) with low dietary Ca (0.4% DM)
3) HIGH: A fully acidified DCAD diet (urine pH 5.7) with high dietary Ca (2.0% DM)

  • Cows fed the CON diet had the highest dry matter intake prior to calving, but after calving, cows fed fully acidified diets (both HIGH and LOW) had greater DMI and greater milk yield when compared to cows fed CON.
  • Cows fed the fully acidified diets had lower occurrence of subclinical hypocalcemia and subclinical ketosis compared to cows fed CON.
  • Cows fed the fully acidified high calcium diet (HIGH) ovulated earlier, had a more successful conception rate, and tended to have a more successful first service timed artificial insemination.
  • There was no difference in immune measurements among treatments, indicating no effect on these aspects of the innate immune system.

 

Source: Phibro Animal Health Corporation, PR News Release



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