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Effects of Rumen-Protected Choline and Monensin on Milk Production and Metabolism of Periparturient Dairy Cows

Journal of Dairy Science
American Dairy Science Association
DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(06)72530-9
  • Nutrition
  • Feeding
  • And Calves


Abstract Choline and monensin may be supplemented during the transition period with the objectives of aiding in fat metabolism and improving energy balance, respectively. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of supplementing rumen-protected choline (RPC) and monensin in a controlled-release capsule (CRC) on metabolism, dry matter intake, milk production, and liver function in transition dairy cattle. Three weeks before expected calving, 182 Holsteins were randomly assigned to receive one of the following: a monensin CRC, 56 g/d of RPC until 28 d in milk, CRC + RPC, or neither supplement (control). Blood samples were collected at enrollment, 1 wk before calving, and in the first and second weeks after calving. Liver biopsies were obtained from multiparous cows randomly selected from each treatment group within 24h and again 3 wk postpartum. Daily milk production was recorded through 60 d in milk. There were no interactions of the effects of RPC and CRC on any of the outcomes measured. Overall, cows that received RPC produced 1.2 kg/d more milk in the first 60 d of lactation, but this effect was attributable to an increase in milk production of 4.4 kg/d among cows with a body condition score ≥4 at 3 wk before calving; fat cows that received RPC ate 1.1kg of DM/d more from wk 3 before calving through wk 4 after calving. Monensin supplementation significantly increased serum concentrations of glucose and urea, lowered concentrations of β-hydroxybutyric acid and aspartate aminotransferase in the peripartum period, and increased liver glycogen content at 3 wk into lactation. The metabolic effects of CRC are consistent with previous studies, and the effects on liver are novel. The mechanism by which RPC increased milk production was not revealed in this study and merits further research.

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