Effects of rumen-protected choline supplementation on metabolic and performance responses of transition dairy cows
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The objective of this experiment was to compare metabolic and milk production parameters in dairy cows supplemented and nonsupplemented with rumen-protected choline (RPC) during the transition period. Twenty-three nonlactating, multiparous, pregnant Holstein cows were ranked by BW and BCS 21 d before expected date of calving and immediately were assigned to receive (n = 12) or not receive (control; n = 11) RPC until 45 d in milk (DIM). Cows supplemented with RPC received (as-fed basis) 50 and 100 g/d of RPC (18.8% choline) before and after calving, respectively. Before calving, cows were maintained in 2 drylot pens according to treatment with ad libitum access to corn silage, and individually they received (as-fed basis) 3 kg/cow daily of a concentrate. Upon calving, cows were moved to 2 adjacent drylot pens according to treatment, milked twice daily, offered (as-fed basis) 35 kg/cow daily of corn silage, and individually received a concentrate formulated to meet their nutritional requirements after milking. The RPC was individually offered to cows as a topdressing into the morning concentrate feeding. Before calving, cow BW and BCS were recorded weekly, and blood samples were collected every 5 d beginning on d -21 relative to expected calving date. Upon calving and until 45 DIM, BW and BCS were recorded weekly, individual milk production was recorded daily, and milk samples were collected once a week and analyzed for fat, protein, and total solids. Blood samples were collected every other day from 0 to 20 DIM and every 5 d from 20 to 45 DIM. Based on actual calving dates, cows receiving RPC or control began receiving treatments 16.8 ± 1.7 and 17.3 ± 2.0 d before calving, respectively. No treatment effects were detected (P ≥ 0.18) on postpartum concentrate intake, BW and BCS, or serum concentrations of cortisol, β-hydroxybutyrate, NEFA, glucose, and IGF-I. Cows supplemented with RPC had greater (P ≤ 0.01) mean serum haptoglobin and insulin concentrations compared with control. Cows supplemented with RPC had greater (P < 0.01) milk protein, total solids (P < 0.01), and milk fat concentrations (P = 0.09) compared with control. No treatment effects were detected (P ≥ 0.43) for milk yield parameters, such as fat-corrected or solids-corrected milk yield. In conclusion, supplementing RPC to transition dairy cows increased haptoglobin and insulin concentrations and benefited milk composition.
author list (cited authors)
Leiva, T., Cooke, R. F., Brandão, A. P., Marques, R. S., & Vasconcelos, J.