Short communication: Folates and vitamin B12 in colostrum and milk from dairy cows fed different energy levels during the dry period.

Duplessis, M., Mann, S., Nydam, D.V., Girard, C.L., Pellerin, D., and Overton, T.R. (2015). "Short communication: Folates and vitamin B12 in colostrum and milk from dairy cows fed different energy levels during the dry period.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(8), pp. 5454-5459. doi : 10.3168/jds.2015-9507  Access to full text

Abstract

This study was undertaken to evaluate folate and vitamin B12 concentrations of colostrum and milk in early lactation of dairy cows fed different levels of energy during the dry period. A total of 84 multiparous Holstein cows were assigned to one of the following dietary treatments fed as a total mixed ration 57 d before the expected calving date: (1) high-energy one-group dry cow diet [1.35 Mcal of net energy for maintenance/kg of dry matter (DM); 56% corn silage, 12% wheat straw, and 32% concentrate mix on a daily DM basis]; (2) controlled-energy one-group dry cow diet (1.14 Mcal of net energy for maintenance/kg of DM; 29% corn silage, 36% wheat straw, and 35% concentrate mix on a daily DM basis); or (3) an intermediate step-up diet (controlled-energy diet from dry off until 29 d before the expected calving date and then switching to a diet representing a 50:50 blend of the controlled- and high-energy diets from 28 d before expected calving date until parturition; 1.24 Mcal of net energy for maintenance/kg of DM). After calving, all cows were fed the same diet served as a total mixed ration (44% corn silage, 14% grass silage, and 42% concentrate mix on a daily DM basis) until 42 d in milk (DIM). Colostrum samples were taken at the first milking after parturition and milk samples were taken during the morning milking at 11 and 39 ± 2 DIM. Colostrum from the first milking and milk yields were weighed on the day of sampling. Colostrum yield from the first milking postpartum and milk yields at 11 and 39 DIM were unaffected by treatments. Colostrum yield averaged 6.8 ± 0.7 kg at the first milking postpartum, whereas milk yields at 11 and 39 DIM were, on average, 40.3 ± 1.5 and 48.9 ± 1.3 kg/d, respectively. Folate concentrations in colostrum and milk were not different among treatments. Folate concentration of colostrum (440.3 ± 18.8 ng/mL) was higher than folate concentration in milk at 11 (93.7 ± 3.0 ng/mL) and at 39 DIM (78.4 ± 2.6 ng/mL). Vitamin B12 concentration in colostrum was higher for controlled-energy cows (31.7 ± 1.4 ng/mL) than intermediate cows (23.5 ± 1.4 ng/mL), whereas no treatment effect was noted for vitamin B12 concentration in milk. At 11 and 39 DIM, milk concentrations of vitamin B12 averaged 3.8 and 3.2 ± 1.4 ng/mL, respectively. In summary, results suggest that dietary change during the dry period could modify vitamin B12 concentration in colostrum, but had no effect on milk concentration of folates and vitamin B12 during early lactation.

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