Rumen fermentation and microbial population in lactating dairy cows receiving diets containing oilseeds rich in C-18 fatty acids.

Ivan, M., Petit, H.V., Chiquette, J., and Wright, A.-D.G. (2013). "Rumen fermentation and microbial population in lactating dairy cows receiving diets containing oilseeds rich in C-18 fatty acids.", British Journal of Nutrition, 109(7), pp. 1211-1218. doi : 10.1017/S0007114512003030  Access to full text

Abstract

Sixteen Holstein rumen-cannulated primiparous milking dairy cows were fed a control diet (CN) based on maize silage and soyabean meal during a 4-week period before the start of a 21-d experiment with oilseeds containing high concentration of linoleic acid (LinolaTM) or linolenic acid (NuLinTM). Thereafter, four cows received ad libitum one of each of four dietary treatments comprising of CN, Linola (LN), NuLin (NL) and LN/NL (50/50% combination). Each LN, NL and LN/NL treatment contained 6% oil of DM. Rumen digesta samples were collected on days 6, 11, 16 and 21 and milk samples on days 13, 15 and 17. There were no effects (P>0.05) of the oilseeds on pH and concentrations of NH3-N and total volatile fatty acids, while the acetate:propionate ratio was decreased (P<0.05). The oilseeds also decreased (P<0.05) protozoa and increased (P<0.1) total cellulolytic bacteria in rumen fluid, especially when containing high dietary linoleic acid (P<0.05). The milk protein concentration was increased (P<0.1) by the dietary linoleic acid, which produced most beneficial results. It was concluded that supplements of linoleic acid in diets of ruminants might contribute to better digestion of dietary fibre and increased quality of milk.

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